The Big C

It’s official. The mass on my mom’s lung is cancer. After talking to the surgeon, he seems convinced that the cancer is in other places as well, but they’ve only found it in one place so far. The fluid around my mom’s heart is either from the cancer or the Scleroderma. They don’t know which, as of yet.

Today, they did (yet another) echocardiogram. This time, to see if more fluid has built up since she had it drained last Sunday. If it’s back, as they suspect it is, they would like to do a more advanced and permanent procedure to enable the fluid to drain without the need for more invasive procedures. It turns out that the way she was last weekend was enough to kill her. We’re very blessed that she survived.

They will also analyze the fluid to determine what is causing it. She is too frail to endure a surgery to remove the cancer. So basically, she’s going to have to live with it until, well, she can’t anymore.

The day was filled with conscious effort in taking mental notes of small details. The way my dad would sit on the bed next to her and just talk to her as he gently touched her skin. The way she looked back at him so adoringly.

After all these years. After all the difficulties. Despite the toll Scleroderma has taken on my mom’s body and physical appearance, they’re very much in love.

There were moments I was blessed to witness. The strength for today that God has given us to hear the news we were given. Despite the presence of a “mass” on her lung, we were surprised to hear that it was cancerous.

That is, Dad and I.

Mom said she wasn’t surprised. She feels the Lord has been preparing her for this for “some time.”

The phone rang a few times from concerned family members who hadn’t yet heard the news. Her first words were always inquiries in how they were doing. That is so typical of my mom. She’s lying in a bed, slowly being killed by more than one disease, and she’s genuinely concerned with the welfare of everyone else.

Well, that’s about it for now. I’m processing the news and mental movies and snapshots from today. I’ll think about tomorrow when I wake up in the morning.

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