Saturday, June 22, 2013

Part 1: Leading Up To Cancer Diagnosis

I have Cancer and this is my story. It began late summer 2012 when it seemed a lot was going on (funny how life works that way). I was consumed with everyday activities like work, family and home improvements. I had just had all the windows in my house replaced--a 3 day project in which I expected my role, as a millworks dunce, to be quite minimal; and which was actually absolute chaos. On Saturday, August 18, not twenty-four hours since the window project was ‘completed’ my house was still in complete disarray.  I was working on putting the house back together: hanging curtains and pictures, replacing furniture, general clean-up, when I received The Call.  That call every parent dreads but knows is coming, at some time or another. That call that froze my awareness to the single moment in time when it came.  The call that simultaneously froze me and launched me into action.  My middle daughter, 27 years old, was just in a serious car accident and was transported by ambulance to the E.R.  She was conscious but hysterical and they were having trouble communicating with her. My heart froze, but luckily my feet took off.  Before I knew it, I was in my car, on the freeway, then parking, then searching for her.  Then I found her.  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing, for sure, that she was alive, that she could communicate, and that I was there with her.  And I didn’t leave her side.  I stayed at the hospital until she was released, and then I took her, and her daughter, my 2 ½ year old granddaughter directly to my house.  The physical injuries were debilitating for a mother of a young child, but even worse was the cognitive damage stemming from the head injury and resulting concussion.  My daughter couldn’t remember what she said from one minute to the next, let alone care for herself or a boisterous, curious toddler.  They became my life.  I took a leave of absence from work, and for three weeks I took my daughter to her appointments, kept all her notes and took care of her and her daughter’s every need.  The accident happened so fast, and changed our lives so quickly, that I hadn’t looked up for a moment from my daily duties to see anything else around me; including myself.  At the end of the third week, my daughter had a Doctor’s appointment one day which was immediately followed by my own doctor’s appointment.  I was having a lump on my neck looked at, and had forgotten all about it. 

Up next, Part 2.

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