Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Title

Me: Guess what?

You: What?

Me: My mom has cancer.

You: ...

Me: ...
My brother, my mom and me, circa 1995.
I could go the factual route, which is somehow easier in its clinical-ness, though some may not be comfortable with the TMI-ness of said clinicality. On Tuesday, February 12 my mom called 911 in excruciating pain and went to the ER in acute renal failure. CAT scans showed a large mass on her cervix...turns out it's malignant...diagnosis is stage 3 squamous cell invasive cervical cancer.

Or I could go the hand-flapping, snot-bubble-blowing sobbing route, which is what I have been choking down since this happened. (Don't hug me! I tell people at work, knowing that I am a back pat away from losing it.) When they wheeled my mom away for the first surgery I bent down to tell her that she is magic and my voice caught on the word. My relationship with my mom has not always been easy but she has always been magic in that I live in awe of her, don't always understand her and love her beyond logic. She held my head as I cried about how magical she is, like a stupid fucking kid crying over unicorns, her body suddenly so light and tiny beneath me.

My mom has always said she is a realist; I call her a fatalist. I don't know what will happen. Fuck that. Yes, I do. I know that I will be there for my mom through this, hold her hand as she deals with whatever treatment she decides on, because I am an optimist, and I believe in magic.

For now I just turn to Bryan out of the blue and say guess what? Because I am trying to get used to it, to wade out from beneath the underwater raw numb place that I have been in for the past week. What? he humors me. My mom has cancer.


eRin said...

I'm so sorry. This is the shittiest part of how we even begin to approach repaying our parents for what they've done, what they would have done, for us. Good luck to your mother, and to you, as you begin this next chapter of reality. Wishing you both lots of magic.

sunshine said...

So sorry to hear about you Mom, been there done that with my Mom as she is a twice breast cancer survivor.

All I can say it's be there for anything and everything. Take time to tell her everything you want to tell her and also offer her that you will listen to everything and anything she is feeling and has to say.

To me the best approach to my Mom's difficult test of Cancer was the complete honestly we vow to have (with each other) through the whole deal regardless of the outcome. This made the whole deal much easier for her and me and got us even closer together.

Sending your Mom healing thoughts and my prayers are with your and your family during this difficult time... God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Keep the magic. Cancer sucks.

Nancy Fastenau, Fastenau and Associates said...

I have no idea what to say - there are so many things. I like keep the magic, cancer sucks. I survived it and so many do. You will have your Mom for a long time yet. Her will and attitude will let her do what she wants. As "ornery" as my Mom was, her strong will was my best inheritance. Know that you are loved by her and by all of us.

Zakary said...

GODDAMMIT, I hate cancer.

All the love in the world to you and Ms. Glitter.

Jen said...

Oh S, I'm so sorry to hear this terrible news. I'm thinking about you and your mom and family. Good luck to your mom and I hope the doctors can kick cancer's sucky ass!

MFAMB said...

onwards and upwards. just keep moving.....


krista said...

cancer sucks.
magic is...well, it is the most worthwhile i think.
sending you love. no back pats.

Jennifer C. Webb said...

there are no words

Kelly said...

I wish I had something to say. I have nothing to say. But keeping silent after reading your post doesn't work for me, either.

Keeping you in my thoughts.

Petunia Face said...

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and warm wishes.

As is often the case with stuff like this people are asking how they can help. The best way to help is to pretty please make sure you are up to date with your pap smears (if you're a woman), and to quit smoking if you're a smoker.

That would make me feel better :)

thank you.

Pooch said...

So very sorry to hear about your mom. Keeping you all in my prayers.

kerwin said...


Thinking of you and your Mom.

wonderchris said...

I'm up on my smears and stay as far away from cig smoke as I can.

Sending a ton of positive thoughts to your family. Husband had brain cancer so believe me when I say that I'm acutely aware of just how sucky cancer is....buying new lipsticks was my therapy. Sounds silly, but it did help.

Amy said...

I am so very sorry. My family went through this just a year ago when my dad was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. It's surreal. I remember turning to my husband on several occasions and just saying "My dad has cancer" as if to convince myself that it was really happening.

One foot in front of the other, and one day at a time. It's too overwhelming to swallow much more than that right now.

Prayers, glitter, happy thoughts and lots of magic to you all.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have nothing to say which will really do what I want to do, which is to make it go away and everything be fine for you and your family.

I could tell you that my mother has survived both breast cancer and uterine cancer, is now cancer-free for the last 12 years, and blah, blah, blah, but I know that has nothing to do with you and yours.

I could tell you that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, but that sounds like what Hallmark has been selling for decades and it hasn't made cancer go away.

I could tell you that advances in treatment are happening all the time, and that odds are SO much better than they were even a few years ago, but what the hell do improvements and odds matter when you're talking about one person, and it's your own mom, for God's sake?

So what I will tell you is that the magic I want to believe in is karma. I want to believe that karma is real, and if it is, then it would only take the tiniest fraction of all the joy and pleasure you have brought to others to put you on the fast track to better days ahead. If I have any good karma built up in my account, I am sending it all your way, and I am sure you have countless readers who will do the same.

Kelley said...

"Scared is scared of all the things you like..." so remember to think of pizza, juice boxes, piano-shaped chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Zoey, Ozzy, Brian, Nutella and shiny things.

And breathe.

A Perfect Gray said...

well. I have been here and gone. and been here again. several times.

thank you for the gift you give us.

you are so raw and real. and I am so closed up for protection.

I appreciate you for your gift and for your sharing it, and for your pain, which is a little bit ours, too.


essbesee said...

Sending healing thoughts her way. Big hugs to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your mother. It was a post years ago that you had written about your mother that first introduced me to your blog.
I have not been able to keep up with your blog since December 26th because I was diagnosed with stage 2 uterine cancer. Tomorrow I finish my last radiation treatment and will soon begin chemotherapy.
My thoughts are with you and your family.

Petunia Face said...

Thank you, thank you everyone.

And to March 24 Anonymous: I am wishing you strength and healing.