My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

not really a whiny wednesday

Did you ever have one of those days that you just didn't know what you were supposed to feel? I mentioned yesterday that my mom was having surgery and that I felt like the "southern thing" to do was to bake a casserole and sit vigil at the hospital. Reality is that I don't have that luxury... and although I am spiritually gifted with the gift of mercy and somewhat articulate, the truth is that I don't always know what to say or do. Or feel.

I found out midday yesterday that mom had (past tense) a neuroendocrine tumor at the juncture of her small and large intestines. It was successfully removed in surgery last night. These tumors do tend to release hormones that can cause trouble in the future, so there will be follow up with an oncologist. We don't know the pathology of the tumor, that takes a few days to determine but the important thing (right now) is that they got it out with a minimally invasive procedure and hopefully she won't have to deal with any more intestinal blockages, which I imagine to be horribly painful.

I hung up the phone with my dad and had what I can only describe as complete numbness. I've dealt with this before - cancer in a parent. My dad is a prostate cancer survivor - double digit years, I think it's 12 or 13. So I've faced that uncomfortable reality check of your own parent's mortality. I honestly don't remember what I felt then but it was also when I was in the midst of parenting 3 very young kids mostly by myself... and I was also much younger and less aware, I'm sure, of how serious it could have been... and I'm sure that my parents, true to their nature, downplayed the gravity of the situation and emphasized their strong faith and belief that all things work together for good.

I can remember feeling this numbness before... when Ryan was very young and very sick. And again when I was in premature labor with Cody at 26 weeks pregnant. It's part "peace that passes understanding" and part compartmentalizing of emotions that I'm not able to deal with at that moment in time. And I truly wasn't... I hung up the phone with my dad and Theresa escorted a client right into my office and I didn't even have the wherewithal to say, "I can't really help him right now"... I just helped him. Fortunately, it was just a payment. I did, a few minutes later, when a particularly unreasonable client came in with a particularly unreasonable request and began an angry tirade, I very calmly looked at him and said, "I'm sorry. Someone else will have to help you."

I finished the day. I thought surely I'd fall apart on the way home. I didn't. I thought surely I'd fall apart when I got home. I didn't. There were three teenagers at my house hanging out... playing cards... chatting... being silly. Austin asked if he could put up the Christmas tree... my pink, artificial, pre-lit tree... and I said yes. I fixed dinner. I ate dinner. I harvested my farmville crop. I talked to Cody. I talked to my dad. All still numb.

Truly, there is a lack of information. It's not time to panic. It's not a death sentence. It's something new. It's an explanation. It's a challenge. It's a time for prayer, for preparation of potential circumstances that might arise. I googled "neuroendocrine tumor" and saw lots of scary stuff. These are usually found in later stages but I wonder - and it's complete speculation on my part - if the diverticulitis that she's been battling for so long was God's way of bringing attention to this tumor in the early stages. I worry about the genetic implications. One thing I learned in my research into the granulomatic disease that I have (scar tissue in my lungs) is that these granulomas can develop in places such as the intestines... I don't know if there's a genetic connection but there could be.

It's whiny Wednesday but I don't feel so much like whining today. I thank God for the grace that He seems to give me in the midst of crisis. Some people fall apart... this time I didn't. I thank God for the focus to stay the course and go on with my day with the confidence that He was in control, that I don't have to worry, weep, keep watch, make a mad dash to the south side of town, abandon my job, abandon my responsibilities. I could rest in Him. I did. Probably I was a little distant... I probably didn't have as much focus as usual... but... I'm grateful that I was able to continue to function.

When Ryan was so sick, one of my co-workers remarked to another that "poor thing, she doesn't even understand how sick her baby is"... and another co-worker, a Christian, said, "she does, she just trusts God". I did then and I do now.

Time for me to glam and dash... there's so much more I want to say but that's the most important thing... none of us knows how much time we have left. Lightning could strike... having a diagnosis that appears to be scary... isn't really the end of anything. Things aren't always what they appear to be. We have to move thru life with confidence that some greater force than ourselves is at work... that angels watch over us... that worrying won't change anything.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, y'all!


Adirondackcountrygal said...

I know how you feel. My mother had a heart attack recently and she is such a fragile diabetic that they cannot do surgery. She is 90% blocked in the back of her heart. It is devestating know I can loose her at any moment. She lives in Louisiana and I am in NY.

Anonymous said...

Praying for your mom and dad ~ and that God will continue to grant you the peace and clarity that you have now. Did she have her surgery at Southern Regional?