Always listen to your mother!

Have you ever had those days when you wish to Hell you had listened more carefully to your mother?  Today is one of those days for me.

I remember Mom telling me stories about when she had to spoon feed her mother (my grandmother) liver.  She was dying from liver cancer.  Hmmmm.  I never really took notes on what that was all about or what her symptoms were or any of that.  I just chalked it up to “history”.  I never did meet my grandparents on my Mom’s side.  I just know they died relatively young (I guess they would have been my age).

Today’s appointment reminded me that I needed to have paid more attention.  My liver is my biggest problem right now.  The chemo helped and the tumors are shrinking, according to my CT scan, but, it is not clear whether surgery is an option.  I have been referred to a liver specialist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.  Good news, I can see the specialist as soon as Monday.

I should be grateful.  I should be hopeful.  I should be looking at the bright side of things.

I need a good cry.  I know it helps.  The tears always seem to clear the negativity out of my head as though it were a toxin being freed from my brain.  I just feel numb.  The tears will hit when I am not expecting them.  They will come as a welcome relief – at the most inconvenient time, no doubt.

“What will you remove during the surgery?” I asked my doctor.

“Your ovaries, your uterus, your cervix, your spleen, your right diaphragm, and chunks of your liver.  Maybe a part of your bowel if the cancer has wrapped around it.”

“That sounds pretty extensive. How long is recovery?”  I asked again. (There won’t be much left in me!)

“It would be between 6 – 8 weeks.  This is major surgery. And it is not without potential risks.” (Nothing ever is…. my body is strong! I don’t feel sick.  I keep thinking I should feel sick.)

I have faith in my doctors and I have faith in their wisdom.  I pray to have the strength to face the challenges that face my family and I with grace and dignity.  I know things are far better medically today than they were when my Grandmother was ill.

Still,  it is hard not to blame myself for not knowing better.  “I should have been more vigilant” I keep hearing in my head.  “Stacey, why did you not insist on a more careful inspection a year ago when you felt pain?”  (Mom would have made me see the doctor!)

“It is what it is.” I also keep telling myself.  There is no point in crying over spilled milk.

I hold hope for Monday – that the specialist will take my case.  I have to hold hope.  What other choice do I have?  And what’s wrong with that, after all?  My children need me – and so does Kevin.  It would be hard on them if I were not hopeful.  Through the grace of God – I can still think positively.  I look for signs of hope everywhere.  That the sun is out today is a good sign.  (A gift from Mom?)  That I am hungry and enjoy eating is a good sign!  (A gift from Dad?)  That I am surrounded by good people who love and support me is a good sign! (A gift from Heaven!)  Life, though, will never be the same.  I realize that in days gone by, I would not have survived to this day.  And in that respect I feel like I am living on borrowed time – and need to be grateful for every single second of life.

No one knows how long they have in this world.  In some ways I feel lucky that I have at least been given an appreciation for the time I have left.  I remain hopeful that I will grow old and watch my grandchildren grow old (after I am given grandchildren).  Until then – I need to remember to live my dash.

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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19 Responses to Always listen to your mother!

  1. Yes she always told me to quit baking in the sun, some day I would be sorry. So true! I got a very rare deadly skin cancer (1,200 people have it) So glad she is in Heaven and cannot say “I told you”. Wisdom is wasted on the old. Hang in there.

    • inmycorner says:

      Oh – wow. My Dad used to say that same thing to me (wisdom being wasted on the old!) And I agree – I am glad my Mom is in Heaven too – wonder if they were related? Thank you for your kind support! How are you dealing with your skin cancer? I am hoping that you are receiving some sort of treatment?

      • I am in remission and have had all the radiation and chemo a body can have. I have had two separate cancer since. Still battling but God is good! Thank you, how about you? Hold tight……..Have a blessed day

      • inmycorner says:

        Oh, my goodness. Thank God that you are in remission! You give me hope hearing that. Do any of my situations (posts) feel familiar to you in terms of your journey? TO date – the waiting is the most difficult – oh, and hearing news. News changes the situation and it takes me a long time to adjust. How long have you been battling the cancer – if you don’t mind me asking? And blessings to you!

  2. Gwen K says:

    Yes, wisdom wasted on the old, and youth wated on the young. God must have known what he was doing, but it does often feel like it is mixed up.

  3. Oh that lovely dash. 🙂 Trust your doctors but ask those questions! And lots and lots of questions! Technically Stacey, we all ‘know’ we are going to go at some point and yet we still make decisions that impact our health and our well being every day. We all do it. Not sure WHY we do it, but we do. So, now, like you say, you’ve been given notice and you’re paying attention. I’ve had other friends tell me that after medical issues/conditions have occurred. Right now you seem to be doing everything in your power to be well and be strong. And it seems like you’ve got quite the support team. 🙂

  4. BruceAnnique says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart and your journey Stacey. Your writing is beautiful and inspiring. Bruce and I admire your courage and hope. I can’t remember my gmail password so we’re posting with Bruce’s but please know my prayers are with you and your family. We really appreciate you using facebook and this blog to share. Annique (and Bruce)

    • inmycorner says:

      Annique (and Bruce) – thank-you so much for joining me on this journey. I have never considered myself to have courage as much as I am stubborn – but I do like your rendition better. And I appreciate and “need” all the prayers my family and I can get.

  5. kiwiskan says:

    Rod and I are praying for you also Stacey – especially for Monday

  6. Gallivanta says:

    I wish I had paid more attention too but the old people didn’t talk much about cancers and various illnesses. The previous generation were very good about looking after each other and nursing frail family members in their homes but I didn’t ever hear what was wrong with the patients. Maybe the ailments were things they couldn’t change so they concentrated on the love and care which were what they could control. Thank goodness we have so many medical advances now, and so many more options. My small prayers coming your way. 🙂

    • inmycorner says:

      I guess there was more “community” and maybe someone that was “stay at home to tend to the fires” role. I agree and am grateful for medical advancements. I especially like the concept of options… days ago doctors used to cut someone open and , finding too much cancer, sew them back up again. Oh – that would be so difficult. Thanks for your prayers – small and big and any shape or size!

  7. Hopebringsstrength says:

    That’s the thing about life…No do overs. We can’t change bits and pieces of our past that we don’t like without losing bits and pieces that we cherish. All the bits and pieces make up the whole of our journey. It’s how we learn, grow, and appreciate what we have. The gifts your mom gave you live deep inside and no tumor or illness will ever diminish them. She is why you are able to fight the way you are fighting. Why you are able to push through the darkness and seek the light of Hope. Why you cherish each and every moment. Why you are able to love and be loved as deeply as you are. Much Love to you today and ALWAYS!

    • inmycorner says:

      True. Not sure that she would have approved of my fighting tactics though. I think I would have heard, “oh, Stacey, you are doing too much. Are you resting? Are you sure you should be going to fitness? grin” You remember – she was always so protective. Good thing, for that matter alone, she is no longer here – it would have killed her. Your words are very wise, Deb. And I hear them. Love of love back!

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