You know, the last time I posted to this blog, I was staying home for three weeks because of the Coronavirus stay home order. I wish my problems were that simple again.
After the stay home order, which was partially lifted around April 15th, I went back to work. Since then, I’ve worked steadily. I also have bought a house and a dog since then.
My house is in Nampa, and is a 3 bed 2 bath single family home with a yard, a garage, and a shed. I love it, it’s all my own. I worry about paying the mortgage and stuff because I spent more than I wanted to, but I don’t regret buying my house. I saw an article somewhere that said something like 55% of new homeowners that have purchased a house since the coronavirus started regret their purchase. I’m not one of them.
I found my puppy listed on Facebook in a rehoming group. She was just 3 days old when I started talking to her original family. I met her at 4 days old, and over the next weeks I visited her as often as I could. I took her home on July 31st at 5 1/2 weeks old. She was born on June 22, and she’s a Pitbull/German Shepherd Dog mix. I named her Dagny, which means “new day” in old Norse. She is a delight and a disaster all at once.
My mom came to see me at the end of July and stayed with me until the first part of September. We were mostly occupied with making sure Dagny didn’t hurt herself or bring the house down around us, seeing as Dagny is very “busy” – my mom’s word for it. She’s always up in something, chewing on something, whatever.
At the end of August/beginning of September, I took a trip to Portland to visit my dad and see my friends. I took Dagny with me (and mom was with me as well), and it was a great time. Lots of quality catch-up convos with my friends. I’ve missed them.
Then it was back to life as normal. Paying the bills. Being annoyed by people at work. Overspending on my budget like I know better not to do.
On the 28th, my mom went into the ER for a severe headache. When they finally got to her, the ER doctor asked her some questions and ordered a CT scan and blood work based on her symptoms.
They found a brain tumor.
I went from Boise to Portland and have been at the hospital nearly 14 hours a day every day since. We learned a lot about her tumor and brain surgery in the past week. Her tumor was about the size of a lemon, and they did surgery on the 1st to remove it. The surgery was a success.
Now she’s recovering from the surgery and has some weakness on her left side from surgery on her right temporal lobe. We’re waiting on the biopsy results, and for her to feel steady enough to be released from the hospital and go home.
The biopsy results are the problem. If the tumor is benign, we’re pretty much good. If it isn’t, we’re in trouble. Brain cancer can be aggressive, and is rarely cured. People with brain cancer have a relatively short life expectancy, even with chemo and radiation.
I’m a practical person. No one lives forever, and I’ve spent my life with companion animals who I love and die on my regularly. Many people have parents who die young, and most everyone’s parents die before they do. It’s the circle of life and all that. But, I don’t think any one is ever ready to lose their parents. Especially when you’re close to them.
I’m putting the cart before the horse here, because we don’t have the biopsy results yet, but I’ve had strong indication from mom’s neurosurgeon that the results aren’t going to be good.
Which means my mom likely has brain cancer. Not just a tumor or a temporary inconvenience or anything simple. It means I might lose her sooner rather than later. I’m trying to tell myself to stay calm, to take one day at a time, to take one step forward. But I’m also trying to prepare myself for my mom to die a potentially hard death.
It’s so silly to me that my worries a week ago were about me wanting this random thing I didn’t need and didn’t have the money to pay for. I want it to be a week ago. I want my mom to not have brain cancer, or even a brain tumor. I want her to not have to try to do PT to heal the connections in her motor functions. I want her to have full range of vision instead of a permanent visual deficit that will keep her from driving again in her life. I want my biggest worry to be where we go on our next vacation, not to be if we even have time for a next vacation.
This type of thing has never hit home before. My family is relatively healthy. Even the cancer scare with my grandfather was relatively minor to me, because he always seemed fine and they never did brain surgery, you know? It was scary, sure, and still kind of is because his immune system was compromised. I have family that died, but I was too young to remember the worst parts of it. I have an uncle in a nursing home but it seems to me that he’s relatively “fine”, just that he’ll live out his life there.
But this is my mom.
Time will tell, I guess, what happens. And I know I’ll get through whatever it is. She will want me to. But I’m scared.