Tuesday 21 April 2009

Swearing, tmesis -style...

Well. I'm not sure I know what to say. My Mum still has cancer. My Mum... has cancer. This is also commonly known as The Bullshit. I can not befuckinglieve that is true. After the operation to remove what was thought only to be DCIS along with the "safety margin", the latter was analysed by a pathologist and the result was delivered like a punch in the face by Ali. They found more cancer, an aggressive type, more serious than DCIS, which is a kind of restrained fiend. Surgery by way of mastectomy is the best and most obvious option, as what they found is only in what they took away for testing, so it could be in any part of the rest of the tissue. The fucker! Leave my Mum alone. I am not, of course, suggesting that my Mum, my Mum should be exempt from cancer aka The Bullshit. No-one in this world, on this, at times wonderful, Earth of ours, is any better or so incredible that they shouln't be immune to some illness or disease that anyone else could contract or develop. It's not that she is my Mum, but that she is my Mum. I know there is nothing I can say or do to help it become less frightening or bewildering for any of us - Ma, Pa and my brother, J. But I would do anything to help her, to stop her hurting. ANYTHING. And now, I can't. I can do some housework and clean and do the ironing but...

There is nothing anyone can say. That's why, I think, there have been so many calls and texts, again and visits. Like before, just three weeks ago, we had so many deliveries of flowers, we ran out of vases, we ran out of space for the "Thinking of You" and "Get Well Soon" cards. People don't know what to say. But we think we know what they mean.

If you know my Mum, you'll know she adores flowers so they make her smile when she sees and smells them. And that's worth every penny in my wallet. Although, the enormous and, frankly, staggering sum of £4 I actually have in my wallet wouldn't buy much more than a bunch from Morrisons. That's not a bad thing. They do have quite nice flowers in there. But I've had the more-for-yer-money, FairTrade or other such prettily presented bouquets delivered for my Ma lately, for helping me post-Mirena-fitting, for Mothering Sunday and for the first instance of The Bullshit. God, I love the internet, sometimes.

I jokingly mentioned on Monday - when we found out what was going to happen next - that we'd have to sort out the past-it flowers in those many vases from the first operation: the lumpectomy. (I've been a bit off-colour lately. And Ma still can't lift her arm up fully yet or lift more than the equivalent of a light cat - Cyril.) The flowers that arrived today came in a vase. And we (Mum bought, but I was with her in our favourite local charity shop) bought two new vases. I think we may be needing them. Mum keeps wondering why so many people are asking how she is, why so many people send flowers and cards and visit her to see if there's anything they can do. Because they care, because she is wonderful.

It's been a thought and fear in each of our minds since Mum's initial diagnosis, that that possible and ultimately shocking shift from "relatively harmless" cancer to hopefully not relevant to my Mum, my brother's Mum, my Dad's wife could happen to her. And, indeed, would happen to her. While it's in its early stages, it does still mean that she. has. cancer... I don't know how long it will take for any of us to realise or understand it. I don't know if we ever will. I know there are no rules about how to feel or what to feel or when to feel. I believe anything and everything each of us feels is completely "OK". I know this because I've been told. Yes, that is a little harsh, perhaps but already, I'm fed up with talking and thinking about it, so how the hell does she feel? SHIT. Bullshit, if you will.

The weeks and months to come will be, for my Ma, full of pain, both physically and emotionally. And while this is, essentially, a post about our current The Bullshit situation - and it is we, for we are a family, together, through hell and joy - my (yes, still about me, somewhere) periods threaten to get in the way of my looking after Mum. What if these new tablets don't work? Now, more than ever, I feel, this new medication cocktail has to work, it has to. I keep feeling sick at the thought of what might happen. I bloody hate feeling sick. I hate cancer aka The Bullshit. I hate depression. I hate my periods. I hate racism and anti-semitism and abuse. And I don't, generally, do hate. But obviously I do. But not for actions and matters that don't merit those strong feelings.

Fear and anger and confusion and frustration and pity. I don't like pity. But I feel it. For my Mum. She'll have part of her taken away which makes her, partly at least, who she is and what she is - a woman. I feel so sorry (agh bloody word) that she'll have to go through this horrible experience because nature went a bit wrong. Tears are falling now, as I type this and talk (via facebook) to a friend whose Mum died from cancer and it makes me so fucking angry that I can't do or say anything to help him, or anyone who has to deal with this, The Bullshit. And now I can't breathe through my nose and my face is redder than a very red thing, indeed. Olbas Oil, you are my friend...


  1. Agh. For lack of a better word I'm sorry to hear about this. May I attempt to counteract that chat you mentioned on Twitter by telling you my Aunt overcame the Bullshit two years ago and no sign of it since? The late-night crying is tiring for you but it'll mean you're calm when you spend time with your Mum, which is no doubt what she wants.

    You write beautifully, by the way :)

  2. Ah the other other Lucy on Twitter! I'm so pleased about your Aunt, that's brilliant.
    Aye, have had a "normal" housework, laugh, chat, at-home-together day today. S'nice ^^,

    And thank-you *blushes* I'm so pleased I started again, even though the subject matter(s) may not be cheery...

  3. Hehe yeah I was going to reply on twitter but 140 characters just isn't enough for some things.
    I find writing is a great way to express yourself - I often forget to mention things in conversation but can always add then on to a blog post!

    I'm glad things are staying normal, I've got my fingers crossed for you and your Mum :) x


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