My step mom is dying of cancer. Since I haven't made much use of my blog lately, I decided to write about her journey from my point of view.
MJ doesn't just have cancer. She's dying of it. It's everywhere: her kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, lymph nodes, bones and possibly her brain.
I'm in Buffalo, NY this week with the kids. We drove out on Sunday. 850 miles. 14 hours. Six states: Iowa. Illinois. Indiana. Ohio. Pennsylvania. New York. Ohio was the longest. That state seems tiny on the map, but it takes forever to drive through.
We're here to help my Dad deal with the reality of this situation. So far I've done a lot of hand holding, waiting in waiting rooms, talking on the phone to my relatives, making lists of things to accomplish in the week that I'm out here, and listening to doctors.
The doctor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute was a handsome young blonde man who spoke with a slight German accent. My step brother (Dad and MJ got married when I was 34 years old, so that term 'step brother' is weird to me) and I sat in an exam room while he told us about the options.
I always thought that doctors who told you bad news did so in their offices. They'd sit behind a gleaming polished mahogany desk, remove their eye glasses, polish them, and then proceed to tell you that you were dying.
That wasn't the case here. Nick, Dad, MJ and I crammed ourselves into a small exam room while the doctor leaned up against the counter to talk to us. His backside kept bumping against the keyboard, causing the monitor on the table behind him to flicker distractingly.
I still don't understand why, but she was being seen in the Urology department at the Cancer center. Maybe because they believe the cancer began in the kidneys and kidney/urology medicine is linked? Who knows. Another distraction in the room was the poster that detailed the anatomy of a penis. I can't help it; when I'm stressed, sad, and trying not to freak out, and there's a poster of a bunch of penises on the wall, I want to giggle. But I couldn't giggle. Not today. So I stared at it instead, and let my eyes glaze over as I stared with out really seeing the drawing of a sad looking, flaccid little penis. The edges of the image blurred as my mind tried to grasp what the nice looking German doctor was saying.
(to be continued...)