Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trashed on New Year's Eve

And, no, it wasn't me! It was my house!!!! We had eight little ones running around here ranging in age from two to eight. And they had cookies and chips and brownies all over the house. And the youngest one here didn't make it to the potty in time and peed all over the bathroom floor. It's amazing just how much urine a two year old can hold in their bladder. Trust me - way more than you can imagine. Anyway. We watched the Auburn game and shot fireworks and had a ball! And finally, at 12:45 a.m., the oldest boys went to sleep. I couldn't believe they lasted that long. For a while, I thought they might last longer than me. Of course, they were up and at it again by 7:00 a.m. the next morning, but what more could you expect? We are still recuperating from sleep deprivation, but all the kids had such a good time. And other that food all over the carpet, there were no major catastrophes to report. And I got a kiss from my little boy at the stroke of midnight. What more could you ask for?

I have a burden on my mind. One of my mom's cancer friends is sick again. My mother met Cathy while doing her chemo treatments at UAB. They both had breast cancer and ended up with the same schedule. So every three weeks, they would be together for however long that treatment lasted - sometimes two hours, and sometimes only forty-five minutes. Mom always knew Cathy's cancer was different. She had a different type of cancer and it was much more aggressive than my mother's. In fact, after Cathy's treatments were over, the doctors found that her cancer had continued to grow despite the chemotherapy and were left with no choice but to perform a radical mastectomy. Well, here we are some year and a half later, and Cathy's cancer is back. This time, she has a spot on her chest and it has spread to her spinal column. The mass has gotten so large that she is nearly paralyzed. Cathy goes in for surgery tomorrow to attempt to remove as much of the cancer as they can. What makes this situation so much harder to swallow is that Cathy has a son that is sixteen years old and is a paraplegic. He is unable to take care of himself. He goes to school, so he is taken care of during those days. But that still leaves so much time that he needs someone with him. And now his mother will be in the hospital for a week after the surgery and will have to stay in a rehab facility for up to six weeks after that. Please pray for Cathy and her family. Not only that the surgery will be a success, but that they will all be able to withstand the struggles that lie ahead.

That's the scariest part about cancer to me - what lies ahead. Obviously, we can't know what lies ahead. No one can. That's a no-brainer. But cancer, no matter where it starts or what kind it is, starts out so small and grows and grows for years before you even know it's there. And even when you have had a surgery that is supposed to remove it all, you know that no doctor or surgeon can possibly remove it all. There could just be one tiny little cell left, and that's all it takes for it to grow again. It could have already begun to spread but not be large enough for the most modern technology to see. Like my mother, for instance, had several lymph nodes involved. Several. One is too many, if you ask me. The cancer had already spread to the muscle in her chest, and the doctors didn't even know that until they had her opened up. Though they removed all of that from her body, there is no guarantee that she is cancer free. I mean, in my opinion, she will never be cancer free. How can she be? It was there, and was so big, and it had begun to spread. No doctor in this world can convince my brain that it is all gone.

I know my mother is scared. I know that what her friend is going through must bring up that fear that it could be her next, that the cancer could come back and she would have to start all over again with the treatments and the sickness and the hair falling out. And her hair is so beautiful now. It just looks so different. It has a little more grey in it, but it seems so healthy and shiny and fresh. I just don't want her to have to go through all that again. I don't want any of us to have to go through that all over again. It effects every member of the family, no matter their age.

So, I guess pray for Cathy and my mom. And everyone else who is currently suffering or scared to hear bad news again. And pray for those brilliant people who are working so hard every day to find new and better ways to fight and prevent disease.


Rebecca said...

I will be praying for both of them.

Erika said...

You know you guys are always in my prayers. I'll add Cathy and her family as well. What a horrible situation.