The Mom Update

At Madelaine's graduation

The results of the PET scan have been received -- Mom's cancer is Stage 4. This means it has spread, this means that time is shorter than we want. She is going to try some mild chemo to see if it can give her a little more time.

They estimate that she has four to six months. We all know they can't tell us how long she has, but hearing those numbers was sobering to me. Mom was her unbelievably cheerful self: "Well, it really could be worse." She's right, but it still knocks me over.

So, what do you do when you know your time on earth is coming to an end? Well, it seems that we are finding out the answer to that. We are doing some special things, like building a deck for Mom to have as a safe path to her door when/if she needs a wheelchair. We also want to plant sod in her yard to cool down and green up the little space she calls home. We are less tempted to procrastinate, and for Mom and for me that may be the biggest difference; we can both take procrastination to an extreme sport level. But for the most part we find that we continue on with what we have always thought was worth doing. We read as many books as we can fit in a day or week, we love fabric textiles and continue to admire the sunflower yellow fabric we found at IKEA. I spend time watering and dead-heading the rose bush in the morning, and I continue to find myself overwhelmed with the laundry pile. It's all shockingly normal.

One advantage we have right now is that my husband is home. I can sneak away for some time each day, to sit in Mom's cool front room and chat. One of my favorite sounds in the whole world is my mother's deep, throaty laugh. I intend to hear that as often as is possible in the weeks and months to come. I'm thinking I will have to rent movies like Waking Ned Devine as part of my laugh out loud campaign.

In the words of DMB: "Life is short but sweet for certain." It's true for all of us, you know. Sometimes the lens just closes in to show the truth a little clearer.


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