Mom – Update no.3

Have you ever found something out and then just held onto it? Not told a soul. For fear of it really not being true or just to cherish it all by yourself for a bit? That’s my mom.

She suffered from migraine head aches for most of her life. From the time she was 16, through her twenties, thirties, forties and into her fifties. They stopped one day after a dream. She had been in therapy looking at her past and present, and then one night had a dream. I can still vividly remember her telling me about it. She was on an escalator riding with her father and her grandfather. She was carrying her grandfathers jacket and her fathers coat. She told them that she couldn’t carry them anymore. She had to give them back. So she did, in that dream. She handed each of them back their jacket and coat. When she woke up, for the first day in over 40 years, she didn’t have a head ache. She didn’t tell anyone, not even my father, for 5 days.

We’ve been waiting for what feels like forever for the results of her present treatment. The results that we’ve been waiting for came in. Finally a comparison has been assessed between her initial diagnosis in November and now. How her body is reacting to the treatment. How her stability is with her spine that was pocketed and broken from the cancer.

Those first conversations with the doctors in AZ gave her months to live. We stand her today with a new prognosis. A prognosis of years. The cancer is under control with the Arimidex, a hormone therapy pill that she takes daily. There is no sign of cancer in her lymph nodes and the other areas in her body are being controlled. The Zometa treatments she receives once a month are strengthening her bones and there seems to be no sign of instability with her spine.

I haven’t popped the bottle of champagne yet because mom isn’t the kind of person to rush out and celebrate once hearing the news. It’s been sinking in, little by little. She’s just now, a couple of weeks after finding out the news, starting to tell people.

There are a few things she has to deal with in order to have this new life of years in front of her. She suffers from nausea about a week after the bone treatment. It doesn’t last for too long but she’s pretty sick for a day or two. Maybe three or four on occasion and her hair is starting to fall out a bit. But, honestly, now she looks like most women her age. Her overly full head of hair is now thinning. Hopefully it will stay like that but we’ve pulled out the scarves and bought her a new hat. I told her bald and alive is better than a full head of hair and dead. She agreed.

Now we’re figuring out what the road ahead looks like and making plans. She’s longing to regain her independence. To wake up in her own home and have the freedom to do whatever she chooses. Isn’t that something that we all crave? So, I’m driving her to my sisters next weekend, May 9th and my sister drives her to AZ on the 18th. Amazing. It’s truly amazing.  I’m sure there is some larger force at work here because as it all worked itself out, I’m driving her to LA on Saturday and Sunday is Mother’s Day. We get to celebrate, the three of us, my sister my mother and I. We get to pop that bottle of champagne and shout a big Wooohooo for the future.

It isn’t mom’s time yet. There is still more to do. There is so much of her to share. So much to give and now there is time to give it. It’s pretty amazing that I can remember standing in the hospital in AZ and being told that this was it. We were looking at months and few of those. Here we stand in a completely new place. This shows me that we are each different unique human beings, and no one knows, really, when our time is up.

These are some photo’s that we took on Sunday and Monday. The photo’s of mom alone are by Mason. The shots of Miles and Grandma are of their almost daily routine of playing cars after we take Mason to school.

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