Friday 1 May 2015

Learning To Let Go

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So as I talked about in an earlier blog post, mum has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

It started out in the breast and has spread to liver and bones with the liver being the worst affected.

Needless to say my family is in a bit of a state as the moment.

The Dr initially put her on tablets in the hopes that would do something, but as we found out this week, they've been essentially ineffective so now we're at chemo stage.

It's a massive blow since we gathered from the start that chemo would be the worst case scenario and we're there now.

A friend of mine as well as my boss who've both been through the chemo ordeal with their family have given me support and advice which has helped, but at the end of the day, there's nothing that anyone can really do except hope that mum beats this thing even if it takes every last ounce of energy that she has in order to do so.

In a discussion with the friend a week or so ago she was talking about the reactions she gets when she tells people that she lost her mother at a young age and said that it was one of the hardest things to deal with, your parents mortality. You just seem to expect they'll live forever and the thought of them not being around is incomprehensible to most...until the time comes when it's a reality.

After looking through the information on the chemo drug mum's due to start on next week, I wonder if it's worth it given all the side effects and her already low energy levels. Taking her shopping the other day was incredibly hard when I saw how much it has already changed her physically and it's only been a few months.

The hardest part is seeing someone you love suffering and knowing that there's nothing they can do because ultimately they're doing it for you, the people that they love and want to stick around for.

After discussion with my parents I asked mum if she'd be willing to consider alternatives to chemo which she said she'd think about should I be able to present them to her. I told her it was her decision at the end of the day, but if she didn't have to go through the ordeal of being pumped full of chemicals, then why would she?!

I spent a fair bit of time over the past few days trying to find out as much as I could about alternative therapies. Some things seemed convincing, others not so much.

When I wasn't researching medicines, I was trying not to fall apart at the idea of losing mum in the not too distant future. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

In my desperate attempt to find comfort in everything that was going on, I downloaded a few different angel card apps as well as using a few of the decks I have at home. Most of the cards I picked had the theme of letting go, relinquishing control, the end of a cycle, things changing for the better, etc.

One of the cards that I picked from the Angel Answers deck I bought most recently simply said 'No Need To Worry'. It was a sigh of relief for me.

When I asked mum the other night how she was feeling about everything she admitted she was scared and that she'd been told by the nurse that she'd lose her hair but would get a wig if need be. I told her if that was the worst thing, then that wasn't so bad.

Admittedly I'm probably underestimating mum's strength with the fear that she may not even survive the first session of chemo given the unpleasant things I've heard about it and bearing in mind her current energy levels. I think it's dad's fear too since he's the one that told me in the first place of what chemo would do. Then again, he saw what it did to his mum and she didn't last much longer after her treatment didn't work.

Another friend's dad contacted me on Facebook and sent love and well wishes to the family then told me that mum was a fighter and everyone was praying for her. I'd never thought of mum as a fighter in any sense. She's the most gentlest person I know second only to her dearly departed mother.

This is where my doubt kicks in. I have no idea how she's going to cope with everything once it gets really hard and I'm desperately trying to find inspirational quotes and things to stick on the wall of my parents bedroom so she can see them when she wakes up and is reminded to keep fighting the way I did during my teen years and seeing random bursts of inspiration made a difference to me.

Maybe I'm over-thinking and over-dramatizing things a little as my way of coping with everything.

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I remember back to when I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and went in expecting to be fitted with a back brace but told that I'd have to have surgery immediately. It was a huge shock for everyone especially me given I was 12/13 at the time and due to have surgery before my 14th birthday.
Dad told me in the days leading up to my first surgery that there were all sorts of things that could go wrong and there was a chance I could die. Very sobering. I almost did die too, after the second surgery when my lung collapsed, but nearly 13 years later I'm sitting here writing this post.

In the lead up to my first surgery I was going to make a page that said something like 'No Sadness Allowed' just in case people brought negativity when they came to see me. It wasn't necessary in the end, everyone was happy and in generally good spirits when they came to visit so I think that one was on me.

In my time off, I got plenty of cards and people passing on their wishes through my parents, it was nice to get them but part of me has always doubted the sincerity of people within the religious community since my experiences haven't been the most pleasant.

Mum on the other hand relishes the love and attention she gets from everyone. Whenever I visit she's always telling me of another card or gift that she got from someone, a conversation she had or something which indicates that she's happy for the most part. Her denial probably has a huge part in this.

All the angel cards I've done have told me positive things for the future and career-wise which leaves me wondering whether I've interpreted them correctly or what's really going to happen. That's the most terrifying part of all, having no idea how mum will react to or handle chemo. It's exhausting expending so much energy thinking about it and worrying about it even though it's a natural reaction to something of this magnitude.

Since I'm still iffy towards religion despite the angel cards referencing God in the guide books, I keep thinking about praying but then I think of all the times I felt like it didn't work and have to just accept that everything is as it's meant to be and there's nothing more or less I can do to change it.

Learning to let go is as hard as waiting for the unknown to happen and not being able to do anything about it.

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