left biblioblography: Deathwatch Daze...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Deathwatch Daze...

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. - Hamlet

As many of you may have noticed, I've not been keeping up with my blogging. Some of it is work-related - my job entails a great deal of mental gymnastics and social interaction (to the point where I'm usually blasé about responding to commenters on my blog, or visiting and commenting at my usual digs), but lately, there's been another item that's been distracting me tremendously.

My mother's been diagnosed with cancer.

Being 75 years old, this is pretty much a death sentence.

Around Thanksgiving, she was still hale and healthy, and then BOOM! Seemingly overnight, she became enfeebled. I used to joke around about "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" That's simply not amusing in the slightest anymore, when you have to rush over and help an elderly relative to stand.

At first, she'd slur her words in the evening, which I chalked up to her drinking wine (she never got 3 sails to the wind, I might add), and her doctor thought it was the onset of a stroke. Then they found a tumor behind her ear, and then a spot on her lungs. All those years of bad habits accumulated, apparently.

Then one morning, I got up at 8:00 AM on the weekend, and she was sitting at the dining table, and there was a huge wound ground into her forearm. Seems she'd gotten up around 4:30 to go to the bathroom, fell, and spent a great deal of time fighting her way back up. She went to the hospital that day.

She didn't want to bother me. So she didn't holler. Tough old bird.

My little sister and I were alternating - she'd watch mom during the week, evenings and weekends I scurry about, supplying her with what little she requires these days.

She goes under the knife today. Not terribly clear on the details yet.

Certainly, her bad habits brought her to this pass. Hardly an argument, there.

I think this is the cruelest system ever - not enough that we're slated to expire at some juncture, but that this cloak of flesh is heir to a million diseases, and as many weaknesses. It clearly reeks of non-design, a thorough testament to a lack of a guiding force, or a caring universe.

So the religious among my readers can drape it under "the deity moves in mysterious ways" all they want - they can just shove that right up where the sun don't shine. Superstitious nonsense is less than comforting - I find cold comfort in spurious, unprovable lies. Unless some sort of 'miracle' occurs, I stand convinced:

There is no god. Capital or lowercase G.

So put that in your smoke and pipe it.


ADDENDUM - as of Saturday, my mother got through her operation with flying colors. The poor dear is still somewhat bewildered, but she aced the thing. The operation was for a tumor behind her ear. The carcinoma, however, still limits her remaining time to 6 months to a year.

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Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this. Can we do anything to help? I'll be thinking of you and your mom all day and hoping the surgery goes well.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

KA...you, your mom and your sisters will be in my thoughts. Let us know how your mom did 'under the knife' and how you all are doing. If you need a medical terminology translator, let me know. Being a RN can be good for something. Hugs.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Possummomma, maggie - thanks for your kind words & your open hearts.
She actually looked a lot better today, poor dear. A little lost & bewildered, & she should be having the operation Saturday.

PastaLaVista said...

Hi KA, I haven't stopped by your blog in quite a while. I hate to hear that about your mother. I certainly hope all goes well. There are some pretty advanced drugs out nowdays for cancer so don't give up hope. Scientists are making new discoveries about the mechanisms behind cancer all the time. You take care. Check back with you later.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks, PLV. As of this Saturday, she came thru the operation like a champ (for the tumor lodged behind her ear) - but we're still looking at 6 mos. to a year.
Lung cancer. Shit, I think it's time to quit smoking.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

OK, KA, you stop smoking. But, more importantly, make the most of the time you have with your mom. If the postings are rare, we will understand and will check in for updates and to send hugs often.

Zac Hunter said...

Glad to hear things are going well so far. I wish you and your family the best. I know the feeling of having to pick your mother up off the ground. It shook me pretty deep. My mom is a cancer survivor, but now has lupus.

I had similar thoughts about the cruelness of it all, that being biological, we don't always go out gracefully, but the spiritual side of me (and by that I only mean thinking of my and our place in the grand scheme) finds comfort in knowing it all plays out according to the laws of nature.

Do you best to comfort her, but also don't neglect yourself during these times. You probably know this already, but its still good to hear it. Take good care of yourself too. And for noodle's sake, STOP SMOKING!

mxracer652 said...

I'm sorry to hear that KA, my best to you and your family.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks all, for your kind words.
It has kinda knocked the wind out of my sails. Presently, a little beside myself.
I'll try to keep everyone posted on this.

mxracer652 said...

I feel for you bud, I've recently dealt with enough family member cancers to last a lifetime. It's tough to do, but try and stay on the light side of life :)

Krystalline Apostate said...

mxracer - I am staying on the brighter side of life.
Hey - why can I hear that song in my head?