Telling Cancer to Fuck Right Off...
Part of blogging that is difficult for me is the privacy issues. It’s hard to know what family idiosyncrasies you really want to post for all the world to see (And in my case, for all my family to see, because I think they make up most of my readership). I mean, I have no problem telling the world that my mother obsesses over her kitchen table like some kind of crazy person; or that my father has a vein in his head that nears explosion every time I tell him that I think I might just take up organic veganism as a way of life.
I’ve told some other more personal things here about my own life as they don’t pertain to anyone else.
This thing that I’ve been hiding affects my life; but in a much greater way, it affects the most important woman in my life.
This past January, my mother, referred to here as SuperNan, was diagnosed with breast cancer. From what I understand, this particular cancer is the best one to get of many subtypes. Breast cancer in and of itself is a very, very large umbrella and underneath that umbrella lays a whole host of information that I can hardly begin to understand.
Being newly diagnosed with cancer is a scary, scary thing. The sheer volume of information takes over your brain the same way opening my closet door takes over everything in sight: you will weep, you will stare in horror, you will lose small children, and your cat might just end up with a broken leg.
The thing about this avalanche is that eventually, Google can help you decipher it and turn it into manageable heaps that you can put in neat little categories: Toss This, Forget That, Pretend I Never Saw That, Bookmark This Handy Little Tidbit, and For God’s Sake Get Rid of That Picture Before My Eyes Fall Right Out Of My Head.
I’m graduating very soon and as a result, my job search will be put off because this year I’ll be accompanying my mother to radiation treatments in the City for five weeks. As far as timing goes, she couldn’t have picked better to have cancer: I’ll be done AND I’ll have a free place to live. Unfortunately for my mother, she not only faces cancer treatment in the next months, she also faces me and my hoards of hair barrettes, pens, and conditioning hair treatments moving back under her roof.
Oh, and she gets saddled with a foul-tempered cat who yowls. All the time.
As far as spirits go, ours couldn’t be better. Our family has a sense of humor that, to some, may border on perverse. However, having experienced the things we’ve already experienced in this life, we know that you get nowhere without laughing first
SuperNan is facing her upcoming treatments with an iron will and a near-constant demand for French Vanilla coffee from Tim Horton’s. She’s already had a lumpectomy earlier in February, and made it through with flying colors and a well-healed scar.
I think a part of me is glad that I kept this information quiet on the Internet until now. I’m calm about it, I have my wits about me (as much as the few wits I have can actually be about), and I’ve seen my mother looking this disease in the face and giving it her most serious “Fuck You.”
For now, Internet, I want to assure you that all members of my family are doing well. SuperNan has recovered from her first surgery and is ready to take on the next step in the process.
And because that’s the type of team we are, we’ll be doing it together.
If you'd like to do something for our family right now, here is what I would appreciate the most: Please go to your mom, your aunt, your older sister, an older cousin, and any female family member in your life. Tell her to run out, this minute, and book a mammogram as soon as possible. Then, tell all your friends, male and female to do the same.
We caught my mother's cancer (And by we, I really mean the wonderous Dr. Chuck and his team of experts. God bless having a wonderful doctor.) at it's earliest possible stage. We are very, very fortunate to have done so, and as a result, my mother's prognosis for the future is good.
Which is ever so relieving to me, because how would I ever buy shoes again without my trusty sidekick SuperNan?