™ when your mom has cancer, such as when the doctor asks about her sex life with me right there, or when I mistakenly sit on one of her nephrostomy bags full of urine. But I never expected it to be so awkward when people ask how she is doing.
How's your mom?
People at work, friends, the guy at the corner store...seemingly innocuous, it comes from everywhere, and I know people mean well. Hell, if your mom was sick right now I would ask how she is doing. Actually, how is your mom?
What's awkward is that brief moment when I weigh the situation: the person asking, how they know my mom, where we are, how tired I am. How do I answer? And so it ranges from she's good, fine, you know...my voice trailing off hoping we can change the subject, to facts about the upcoming internal radiation, how medieval it sounds that they are going to surgically drill up to 24 needles into my mom's cervix and then blast them with radioactive material. No matter the degree of detail, inevitably I get a cocked head from the person who asks, eyes that grow just the teensiest bit bigger, lips pressed thin in sympathy, and then we both kind of nod our heads, like yeah. I know. Yeah. It's not a conversation that flows and certainly not one that can be backed away from gracefully.
Which leaves me with this post that I don't know how to end. Do I want people to stop asking me how my mom is doing? No. Really, please don't. This is happening and no matter where you run into me you can bet I am thinking about it. Just understand that sometimes I don't know how to answer, and that sometimes I just want to--