Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Mom’s Choice

I spent the 5th with Mom, her birthday. We didn't really do anything special at all, I just went on her shopping errands with her. Mom's always been a shopper, poking around looking at things is a fun day for her. I find it generally fatiguing, although we agree on thrift store shopping and both enjoy it.

I was feeling very anxious and down about things having only spoken with her for a few minutes when she told me about the cancer. Actually talking with her in person helped a lot to alleviate some of those uncomfortable feelings. I think seeing that she felt resolved and at peace with things, at least she did on Friday, was reassuring in a lot of ways.

Chemotherapy might be an option, as might surgery. Radiation isn't really an option since she's had it so much. What Mom really wants is to receive palliative care, just medication for pain and anxiety rather than trying to 'cure' the cancer. She also is interested in alternative medicine. She really doesn't want to go through any treatments to cure cancer again.

It is so sad. I do feel anger at this one last failure of my Mom's health. She corrected my belief on when she first had cancer, it was 1973 and I was four years old (I'd thought I was closer to 9 the first time). For 36 years I've watched my Mom fight cancer, have some time of health, fight heart disease, diabetes, and increasingly debilitating arthritis. It has been exhausting for both of us in its own way.

I don't blame her, not at all. Having watched what those cures have done to her over the years I think she's making a wise decision. Her health isn't that great to begin with, her heart is very weak, and she wants to really be able to enjoy what she can of the time she has remaining to her. I honestly think she's making the best decision.

We're taking her to the coast for a few days later this month. I'm really grateful I've got more time available to do things with her and have been trying to check in by phone with her more often.

We have some squirrel-gifted daffodils blooming in the front yard, but I'm loathe to pick them as they make the yard look so cheerful. Instead I bought some flowers - stock and daffodils. Purple and vivid yellow adorning the mantle. Today's poem is a quick haiku inspired by them.

Daffodils open.
Spring flashes a wide smile from
Bright yellow faces.

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