My Brief Story

On the 1st of July 2010 I found out my mother had recurring metastatic breast cancer.

My Mum was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. I was 5 years old. My brother was six months old. She had a single masectomy and some of her lymph nodes removed.

My whole life has been impacted by my Mum's intial bout of cancer. We never went to doctors. My Mum was heavily influenced by herbal remedies and alternative medicines. She never spoke about her illness and was always uncomfortable and sensitive about her physical and emotional scarring.

My Dad used to sometimes snap when I was younger and explain that we needed to minimise my Mum's stress levels so she'd never get cancer again. As I grew up, my Dad and I became extremely close. Sometimes when he'd had a few beers he would tell me about what it was like when Mum first had cancer; how he told her everything would be alright even though two minutes prior the doctor had told him that she only had 2 months to live.

Mum noticed a lump just after my Uncle died in May 2008.
My Mum and Dad never fight but it wasn't until a fight on the night of the 30th June that forced Mum to spill. Mum had been hiding her lump, and subsequently her body, from the family for two years. She didn't want anybody to notice the lump. She was acting strange and withdrawn. Dad and I both thought it came down to 'marriage issues'.

It's been over a month now since it all came out in the open.
Mum's primary tumour is in her breast, however she has secondary tumours in both her lungs and on her spine.
She is very ill.
She starts chemotherapy tomorrow to try to help kill the secondary tumours before they can operate to try to remove the primary tumour.

Our whole lives have been turned upside down.
Mum no longer works. She rarely smiles or talks. She has difficulty breathing and is in constant pain.
My Dad is still trying to work full time in order to keep money coming in.
Mum found out about the cancer 3 days before she was meant to go overseas with my Aunty and Nan for three weeks. She lost A LOT of money from cancelling that trip.

I just got a job so I can help contribute financially. My Dad, brother and I juggle all the housework as well as school and work. We've created a healthy chemical-free environment for Mum at home.

The stories Dad shared with me about my Mum's previous battle with less aggressive cancer evoked a very different image of Mum. She seemed heroic and fearless, battling the cancer til the end.

This time it seems different. Mum is frail, frightened, in huge amounts of pain.

I think my family are also in denial. I'm not sure where you draw the line between denial and optimism. Most, if not all, professionals say that with the type of cancer my Mum has it's highly unlikely she will survive more than five years and her remaining time will mostly be uncomfortable and painful.

I don't know what to think.

There's a part of me (the bigger part) that believes the optimism as well. I have complete belief in my Mum overcoming this disease. However in the back of my mind there are things that constantly linger.

If she does only have a few months or years left, then we should make the most of it. We should go on holidays, do everything and anything my Mum ever wanted to do, celebrate her life. .. But the ***** of cancer makes it almost impossible to do this. She's in pain and may never feel normal again before she dies.

I can't talk to my parents about this because I don't think they are even willing to accept that she may die soon.
I feel 1000 different emotions every day. Anger, guilt, depression, anxiety, sorrow. It's hard to be optimistic. I can't bear the thought of Mum not seeing me graduate, or seeing Dean finish school...I just can't bear the thought that she will be gone.
BettyValentine BettyValentine
22-25, F
2 Responses Aug 11, 2010

Thanks my dear. Appreciated. xx.

hugs, beer and **** honey x