I’ve written this post in my head about 30 times before summoning the courage to actually write it. And each time it had a different emotion behind it, or 50 all at once. But, I finally figured out how it should be written. And I’m going to do my best to make this match the thought in my head.
My mom was diagnosed two weeks ago with myeloma. It’s amazing what one new vocabulary word will do to your life. Myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells. Plasma cells are antibody-producing cells in bone marrow. Myeloma cells are cancerous plasma cells. As these cells multiply in the bone marrow, they cause problems in bones and require treatment. It is rare and scary and it is now a part of all our lives.
Unfortunately, this is not my mom’s first run-in with cancer. It’s merely her latest. 11 years ago, she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. A lumpectomy and some radiation she was done. 2 ½ years ago, a mis-read pathology report led us to believe she may have clear cell carcinoma in her uterus, prompting a full hysterectomy and many, many tears.
The pathologist was wrong. She was fine. Another crisis averted.
A few weeks ago, she complained of rib pain. It finally hurt long enough that it was worth getting some x-rays done. The ribs were fine, but something else just didn’t seem “right”. A PET scan, 900 phone calls and more tests later, we discovered something really wasn’t right. But we still didn’t know what.
The oncologist was narrowing it down to two things: a recurrence of breast cancer that metastasized to bone, or, myeloma.
It’s an amazing day when you’re praying for breast cancer, isn’t it?
For 11 years, my mom has lived life knowing, somewhere in the back of her mind, that the other shoe may drop one day. And right about now, it feels like that shoe was a boot that has kicked us all squarely in the ass.
And I hate it. For her, and most especially for The Swimmy.
But, we are lucky we found this, even if it was by accident. I’m learning about this disease little by little (because it’s all my head and heart can take right now), but logic tells me that early is always better than NOT early. Time brings options. And in this case, options bring time. And time – can bring treatments, therapies and “cures”.
We don’t know what the path looks like going forward right now. There are opinions to get and decisions to be made. Until then, days get spent going through the motions and doing what needs to be done. Waiting for a plan, waiting for an answer, waiting for a call for help just to feel useful. It’s a helluva way to pass the time. But, for now, that’s what it is.
But with each step, arming and preparing for battle – and all that brings.
And to this piece of shit disease, I’d like to say you can just fuck straight off. You have no idea who you’re dealing with here. You may have shocked us for awhile, and done a pretty good job at it, but just wait until you see how WE roll, you cocksucker. You wait until my mom sticks a pointy-toed, high-heeled boot in YOUR ass.
And I’m gonna buy ‘em.