CHAPTER 13 The Diagnosis

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"The moment I think of you, I am connected to you, no matter where you are."

@RantingsOfaGirl


"Kendra has been trying to call Mom," Dad said.

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Yes. She's been trying for a while. Somehow she got a hold of one of the nurses phone numbers at the Hospital and asked to talk to Mom. Luckily I was there when it happened," Dad said.

"WTF," I said.

"Yeah, I have NO idea how she got the number and neither did the nurse. I was pissed off at first. But then I figured, what the hell. She wants to talk to Mom so badly, let her. So I told the nurse to give Mom the phone," Dad said.

I could feel my blood go from a simmer to a boil. I was shocked and angry at the blatant disregard for our family's wishes by Kendra and her assumption that she had a "right" to talk to Mom. As far as I was concerned, there were only three people in the world who had a right to talk to Mom, and Kendra wasn't one of them.

Granted they were friends. But the truth was Kendra hadn't put much effort into their relationship for years, like so many other of Mom's alleged "loved ones". It was shocking that Kendra felt she could try to go go behind our backs to get to Mom, given that I had expressed Mom's mental and physical condition in numerous CaringBridge.org updates.

"So what did Mom say?" I asked.

"Mom talked to her for a few minutes. But you could tell Mom really didn't care about her.  Then she hung up the phone and I think Kendra was still talking," Dad said.

I laughed. I couldn't help it!

"Way to go Dad," I said with a smile.

He smiled back.

I hadn't seen Mom in three weeks, since the night we drove her to the E.R. All I had was the image of her stuck in that fucking hospital bed with an oxygen mask strapped on her face. Dad had shared photos of her progress at the Hospital that I had posted for everyone to see.

Though I had talked to her on the phone once during that time, it wasn't the same. I hadn't been without her in my life every day for years. I must have asked Dad if I could go see her every time I saw him during the past weeks. But he kept pushing me off.

"But I want to do something," I said.

"And I want you to take it easy and relax. You have an opportunity right now to take a break and rest. You don't need to be down at the Hospital. There's nothing for you to do down there," Dad said.

"I'm not doing anything up there though. I sit and stare off into space a lot of the time," I said.

"That's okay. That's what you need to be doing. Taking it easy," Dad said.

Even though I had put in time doing the "Mom Duty" I should still be doing something. I could take one look at Dad and know how he was fairing. He was looking rode hard and put away wet. Mom was a handful, and Dad had the bite marks and battle wounds to prove it.

My Brother was driving up and we'd go visit Mom together in the Hospital. He was supposed to come up a couple months ago and had car trouble that left him stranded. It was fate that he had broken down near a small town and was able to get a band aid for his car so he could squeak it back home.

It was divine intervention that he hadn't come up sooner because he would have had to come up again a few months later. He didn't even blink an eye about coming to see Mom. There wasn't a question in his mind. It was great he had a job that supported him taking some time off to visit her.

He would be here tonight, and then tomorrow we would all visit Mom. I was nervous to see her. After everything I'd been through with her, and her being in the Hospital, I wasn't sure how she felt about me most days. I didn't know how I felt about me.


AUGUST 20

CARING BRIDGE UPDATE

Days in Hospital: 13

INITIAL TEST RESULTS: cancer, non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Specific Type: Unknown at this time

The Doctors feel very good and hopeful about this diagnosis. They believe we "caught it" in time to do something about it (subject to the actual results on the lymph).

They are operating on Mom today, at 4 p.m., to remove a lymph node for further testing to diagnose what type of Lymphoma she has.

Mom had to be sedated yesterday because she was out of control (she was trying to choke Dad). I think she's angry because she cannot escape the reality of her what's happening to her, and where she is.

Dad told me yesterday, when we brought Mom in two weeks ago, the whole hospital was looking very suspiciously at us. I said, "What, like we've been sucking up her Potassium and her blood?" The hospital had NEVER SEEN anyone with such low Potassium levels. The lab retested her blood twice to see if the first test was wrong. They said she shouldn't even be alive with such low levels. So, that tells me, that she's a fighter...and there's a reason she's still alive. Now, if we could get her to focus on fighting the right battles, we'd be golden.

I don't know else to say about all this...

I realized a few days ago, this is the one of the first times I recall, my family being in the middle of some serious shite, and actually telling people about what was going on, and is going on, as its happening. Mostly, we endured, kept silent, and kept to ourselves.

Thank you for all your support, prayers, positive thoughts, cards, donations, etc. We appreciate it!

Blessings to you and yours,

c :)

Tip: Life is too short. Don't sweat the small stuff.

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