I just talked to Daddy… I’m so frustrated. He called this morning and told me that Grandpa Weathers is in the hospital, and that he’s probably not going to make it. Oh, and by the way, please call your mama a few times today because she’s “down in the dumps” about the chemo not working.
I’m SO FRUSTRATED. I went over there Tuesday – she seemed fine. Tom wrote a big motivational encouraging email yesterday and she responded – she seemed fine. Bobby and I went over there last night – she seemed fine.
And yet she’s not. She’s faking when I’m around – Daddy says that she’s not down in the dumps AGAIN – she never actually left the dumps. She’s just pretending to be ok when I’m around. She started crying this morning and told Daddy that “if God doesn’t heal me, I’m going to die.” Well, duh – that’s been the case the whole time. Even if the chemo was working, if would be because God was using it as his tool – so it all comes back to God healing her regardless. She has totally checked out.
Mama’s taken a few treatments because she has a little scrap in her. But now that the going has gotten tough, and O’Rourke isn’t saying nice positive things, and we’re all trying to fit chemo into our daily routine and accept that it’s not going away, she’s giving up. She’s sitting around and crying and moping and thinking about death during what could very possibly, and maybe PROBABLY will be the best she’s going to feel from now on. She’s not in pain – she has no pain in her liver, no pain in her back, none at all. Even her shoulder is feeling better… she keeps getting nasty little things like shingles and yesterday, some kind of respiratory infection – but that’s because her white blood cell count is down – it’s nothing that kills you.
And yet she sits in the recliner in her nightgown, asking Daddy and God why she can’t be healthy and work in the yard and have grandbabies and live until she’s 90. She’s not appreciating what she has – yes, God has allowed a reoccurrence. I don’t understand why – I can come up with theories, but I don’t truly understand why – but he is giving her this time where she’s feeling fine. If the lump hadn’t come up on her head, she wouldn’t even know that she had cancer.
I wonder if she’s sorry that the lump came up – that she just couldn’t live the rest of her life in oblivion, not knowing that the cancer was spreading, until they found it when it was too far along and there was nothing that they could do. I would be willing to bet money that she’s thought that. She’s thought about quitting chemo. I know she has. And honestly, I said this to Daddy this morning, and I’m really serious – if she doesn’t snap out of it, maybe stopping chemo is the best decision. Chemo is for people who want to fight, who want to live, who want to see their children grow up. It’s not for people who sit in their recliner in their flannel nightgown, who won’t call their doctors themselves, who are totally uninterested in the support resources that are out there like my message board, and who just sit and cry that their life isn’t perfect. I was telling Daddy that the ladies on my message board are fighters – many of them are in pain, and yet they still live and work and become best friends with their “sisters” that they’ve met online.
And Daddy said “mama isn’t online” – and he’s right. That’s the bottom line – my mother isn’t one of those ladies. She’s not strong, she’s not a fighter, she’s not in it for the long haul. She would rather stop chemo, stick her head in the sand, and scream “”it is not God’s will that any should perish” over and over until she’s finally too eaten up with cancer and too weak to say it anymore. This is a prime example of people making the Bible fit what they want to see – if it wasn’t God’s will for any to perish EVER, then we’d all be immortal. Obviously, this verse applied to a specific situation – not ALL situations!! She’s going to die – not today, not tomorrow, but she will eventually “perish” like the rest of us. That’s not pessimism, that’s REALITY. If she dies, cancer’s not going to be what kills her – she’s going to have killed herself – one flannel nightgown day at a time.
I’m sitting here looking at the email that she wrote yesterday… it’s so full of shit. She’s so positive and upbeat and strong-sounding… and it’s all a front. A front to make Tom and Jennifer and whoever else believes her feel better. Well, I’m not buying. I knew even when I read it that it was whistling in the dark – pretending that everything’s fine and you’re safe even when you can sense the monster coming up behind you – and what Daddy told me this morning confirms it. The email’s a lie. Nothing but a farce, a façade, a mask of denial that she’s not even wearing anymore except when Jennifer and I are there. Susanna doesn’t even get to see the façade, which is probably what’s wrong with her. Part of me wants to write her back – a scathing electronic slap that would make her say “you know, Sarah’s right, I am inviting death into our family with my horribly negative attitude, and today’s the day that I’m going to change.” But that wouldn’t happen – I don’t think it would for a second – she would just cry and say “Sarah’s so mean to me, and I have cancer, and why would she be mean to me when I’m sick and have cancer? She’s going to be sorry when I’m dead.” Or – even worse – she would write another one of those eloquent, completely false epistles to me, which would piss me off more than the pitiful little “poor me” crying.
I’m a bitch. I’m mean and ugly and a complete and total bitch. I’m saying and writing really, really mean, uncaring things about my mother who’s dying, yes dying, with cancer. I just don’t want her to die. I want her to live. I want her to give me unsolicited advice about how to raise my children that aren’t even conceived yet. I want her to fight with Daddy and make his life miserable until he dies. I want her to be the crotchety old woman that I’ve always known would probably come live with me – because Jennifer sure wouldn’t take her, and Susanna would be in Europe living in sin with a Frenchmen, and god forbid we put her in a nursing home because paying thousands of dollars for professionals to care for her obviously means that we don’t love her. Because I’m the only one that can talk her down, and make her shut her damn mouth. I’m the only that she listens to – how many times have my sisters called and pled with me to talk to her because I’m the only one that can reason with her? I’m the one that brought her through the dark early years of an unhappy marriage, who gave her a reason to live, because she has never lived for herself.
I love her more than anything. Than anyone. She has more control over me than anyone else has ever and will ever have. Bobby will never understand the hold that Mama has on me – it’s unbreakable, inescapable, undeniable. But I’m willing to continue for as long as it takes. I don’t want her to die. I want to her live.
Bad things that have happened:
1 – Obviously, the chemo not working and Mama not fighting. Big bad number 1.
2 – Grandpa Weathers is dying. Grandma told Daddy that the funeral will be this coming Sunday, and he’s not even dead… that’s how sure they are that this is the end. Aunt Gin is catching a plane tonight. I haven’t even let myself think about it – I just keep telling myself that it’s for the best… that he is basically already dead… that my grandpa died a long time ago.
3 – Amy just came over to visit Mama from Fair Oak… they just told her that this is her last year at Fair Oak and that if she wants to continue teaching for the district, that she’ll be in Seneca next year. So I guess that’s the end of that. Mama’s going to quit, sit in her recliner, drop her friendship with Amy (which plays a HUGE role in her life) and rot. The end.
Everything just feels bad… completely disheveled, upside down, completely psychotic. I called Jennifer at lunch to talk to her about it, but she didn’t answer – too busy raising a ruckus and causing grief for her principal and the district office. Oh, and Uncle Rocky’s coming down to do the “career day” thing at Fair Oak on Friday. Right in the middle of all this ruckus. And meanwhile, there’s probably going to a funeral and a viewing and the trauma of having your grandfather/father/husband die. Ugh, this just sucks.