Friday, February 6, 2015

A new normal

I haven't updated the blog in a while about my mom's progress on her cancer and the treatments. The last time I did she was mid way through her chemo and radiation was just beginning. It was a hard road. April through December wasn't a fun time. She missed out on a lot of stuff due to the reaction to the chemotherapy and once the radiation started a whole new set of issues began. 

Radiation treatment is different for everyone and for my mom is was six weeks of 5 days a week treatment. It was a very strong dose that near the end really began to effect her phyically. It literally burned her from the inside out. She felt a lot of pain and by the end of the six weeks we could see the burn on her skin. It was hard to watch her go through that but it was harder knowing that after this strong treatment she had to once again start up with the chemo. 

She missed out a lot on the summer time fun we all usually have. We weren't able to lay by the pool. Or go out all day and have fun. She was tired a lot and sick a lot. The fact that she was not able to be with us like she usually is during those few months was hard on her mentally as well and she did go though a brief period where she pulled away from all of us and stayed to herself a lot. She wasn't the fun, free spirited mom she had always been. She was sad and depressed and a lot of days she had given up on feeling good again. 

Chemotherapy was always a challenge and after an allergic reaction to her chemo meds she had to switch up her treatment plan a little. Her doctors had originally told her that near Thanksgiving she should be done with all treatment but after a few tests they decided to be safe and do them until Christmas. It was a struggle to keep her spirits up and keep her going for those last few treatments. Her hands and feet were having a lot of pain and numbness in them more often and the days after treatments go harder with prolonged periods of sickness. 

My stepdad's job started in Texas and with them having such amazing centers down there for cancer she decided to go there to get a second opinion and finishing her treatments if necessary. After having several scans and tests done we got the news that we had so longed to hear ever since this journey began 6 months ago. Mom is in REMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing was more of relief then to hear that!! They told her it is very possible it can come back. If it stays gone for 5 years the chance of it coming back decreases a lot! I continue to pray that she will stay healthy and that this will not be something she ever has to go through again. I know it was tough on her physically but now that some time has passed those things that were effected by the chemotherapy treatments are starting to fade away. She is starting to return to her old self physically. 

Mentally though, I'm still waiting to see my mom. I'm still waiting for her to come back to us. She left for Texas in part to be with my stepdad but she also left because she thought all the bad things here would disappear. That it wouldn't all be real. The cancer. My Grandma dying. Being alone here without my stepdad with her. But I don't think she has realized yet that what she left behind was more important then what she was trying to avoid. She has been gone for 2 and half months now. Feels like 2 years to me. I was so happy she got to come home and spend Christmas with us. It meant a lot to me. She is home this week too which is what reminded me to write this cancer update. She is here for 6 days. Doesn't seem long enough. Lots of people to try to see before she off again. She won't be back until the end of March hopefully in time for Hensley's birthday party. I am trying to be strong. To not think about the fact that my mom who I usually see everyday is just....gone. Off to another state. Only coming home for short week long trips. On this trip home she talked a lot about them getting rid of their home here in NC. Three miles from our home. A place I always feel comfortable going. Where Hensley has a room with all his stuff inside and where we all have a ton of memories. Not having a house here anymore means one thing....this is no longer home. It's hard for me to even comprehend that. I hope it's something that won't happen. I know it's something I'll have a very hard time with. 

During all of this I have tried to do one thing......not be selfish. I have had days were she calls and I don't answer the phone because I am missing her so much that I am angry and I don't want to be angry towards her. So it's easier to just not answer. Which isn't fair to her. I am happy she is able to go and see new places. Spend time with my stepdad. Meet new people and experience new things. But as happy as I am for her I am equally angry and sad and lonely. I never know from day to day how I will feel. It changes daily. I want her here with us. Attending special days at Hensley's school. Coming over to hang out with me or go get lunch. Summer is coming soon. It will be hard to have another summer without her at the pool. Taking Hensley to do fun things. Just being here. I don't want to be angry. I want to be happy. I want to be happy her cancer is gone. I want to be happy she is seeing the country. I want to be happy to see her come home. But in the back of my mind when she is here all I think about is her leaving again. I miss her. Phone calls, and video chats just aren't the same. Through this whole experience I always thought after the cancer was gone we would all move on with everything and things would go back to normal. I thought hearing the word remission would mean I get my mother back. Instead she's gone anyway. 

I guess it's time to end this post that started as a cancer update and ending in a therapy session. This too shall pass..........right? 

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