The “C” Word

2014.02 heartMy mother finally said the word out loud. We’ve been skirting around it, as if by not saying it we could make it less real. We’ve been using other words, softer words, words that don’t sound so final and so harsh, but we both knew what we were thinking.

“Your grandmother’s cancer is spreading,” she said. “She’s in a lot of pain.”

So far what I know is that my grandmother is in the hospital, being “observed.” They don’t know how serious it is. They don’t know exactly what next steps are. They don’t know what the options are.

We do know she’s in pain. We do know that the growth is growing.

I’ve been nudging my mother, pushing her towards a trip to see her mother. It’s at tricky conversation. I can’t really push, or she’ll refuse to go because I tried to make her go. I can’t neglect to ask because then she’ll (later) say that I didn’t want her to go.

I don’t want her to wait too long.

In the meanwhile, I get these vague text messages from my mother with updates. And I call her for explanations which she gives, grudgingly. An hour later I get yet another text message. She’s giving me info one drop at a time.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know how to fix this. I don’t understand what my role is supposed to be in this.

And I am truly worried that, while I figure it out, I’m screwing things up.


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