Sunday, January 12, 2003

This week has been a nightmare. I almost feel as though a deity somewhere has it in for me. To bring things up to date:
Tuesday evening: My mother called to tell me that she has her test results back and that she had and inoperable cancer. I told a few people on my IRC channel, finding time to type between bursting into tears and I have a friend in the Midlands that I also told. I managed to get a lot of help and immediate moral support from them and they all gave me the encouragement that I needed to be able to tell my boyfriend (who currently lives in Manchester). It was really bizarre the way it was so much easier to tell the irc people than it was to tell my own partner. Once I had calmed down a bit I was able to call my boyfriend and his immediate reaction was to try to arrange to come up and visit me. I, on the other hand, thought that it would be better if he went to visit my mum. My mood was swinging from desperate sadness, to frustration and anger, all accompanied by floods of tears, so needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.
Wednesday: After having had a dreadful night of very disturbed sleep I got up and tried to get ready for work. However, with continued bouts of crying and being in a complete daze I realised at about 10:30 am that I was late (one and a half hours late at that point) so I rang my boss's secretary and explained what had happened, only just managing to stop myself from bursting into tears whilst speaking with her. I thought I would go to the restaurant on the corner of the street for lunch, so finished getting ready and as I was about to leave thought I'd head into work because I might at least manage to get something done between the tears and the dazed periods. I also thought that if I got back into work it would start to get my mind back on day to day things. It did eventually, but work wise the day was a complete wash out. My boss was away at a conference but he did manage to make time to give me a call, though I don't really think he knew what to say. As I put the phone down I burst into really hysterical tears that must have been heard right across the lab, because our Lab Manager came to see if I was okay, so yet again I had to recount what is happening. Of course this is now spreading right through the department which I'm not sure is a good or a bad thing. On the one hand, it saves me having to tell people why I am so gloomy, but there is also the feeing that it should be me telling people and that this shouldn't be the subject of general gossip. I have a friend who is an oncologist and I had a chat with her. She told me a lot about lung cancer, possible treatments, possible outcomes and that was very helpful. I also rang the Macmillan nurse who will be looking after my mum. She was very helpful, but at the same time she was very firm that she couldn't tell me anything without my mother's permission. She did, however, say that she wouldn't tell my mother anything about our conversation unless I agreed, so that was good. I slept better that night, though it was still a bit disturbed.
Thursday: Surprisingly, I was fairly okay. I got into work without a hitch and managed to get a fair chunk of work done. I was running behind because of Wednesday, but the really big job that I had, I managed to get completed, which left me feeling frustrated because it took the best part of the day but didn't make an impact on the in-tray. Had a really long conversation with my mother and told her that I had spoken with her nurse. I think she was a bit miffed at first but I explained why I'd called and that I didn't want to be in a position where she was too ill or tired from the chemotherapy to call me and that my aunt would be too busy "dealing with things" to bother calling to let me know and that I didn't want to be cut out of the loop. Anyway, mum said that she will tell everyone that they are to let me know what is going on.
Friday: Today was good. I've read a lot about the cancer treatments available, with probable outcomes, and that combined with my mothers really positive attitude is starting to have an effect. I actually feel guilty about being so upset because clearly that isn't what my mum wants. To be honest if I were in the same position I wouldn't want people to be miserable around me, but it is only natural to be upset in the first instance because whether you are expecting the news or not it's a big shock. Added to the fact that both my grandfathers died of cancer so I know what to expect if the tumour metastasises and/or doesn't respond to the chemotherapy, and I know it isn't nice. It isn't something that I ever wanted to see happening again and I particularly didn't want to see it happening to someone close. Still, as my mother say's you have to look at life in a positive fashion or you'd never do anything. So now I am going to go home and have a hot bath and carry on living my life. It's not that I don't care it's just that my mother is going to live her life as she wants to and now isn't the time to drop everything to go and be with her. What she want's most of all is for everything to carry on as normal, and that involves me living in Edinburgh and being a tour guide when she comes to visit. There will be a time when I have to put my life on hold - it just isn't now.

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