The Natatorium

An emporium of oddities from around the world, complete with somewhat informative plaques that almost never match the item they are meant to be describing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What We Never Saw Coming

My mom has breast cancer.

We don't know how advanced it is yet or anything. We just know she has a medium-sized tumor and they're concerned about her lymph nodes.

I'm completely terrified. I feel anxious and sick most of the time, my heart beats too fast, and my hands shake. When I'm not feeling that, I'm just exhausted.

I've felt for a couple of months now like I've been surrounded by death... or pursued by it. I thought it was me. I thought there was something wrong with me, I was afraid I had cancer. I've been anxious, ill-at-ease, like I knew something bad was going to happen. One of my dad's best friends died a couple of months ago after a long battle with cancer, and another of his best friends was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after. Part of me knew that it would be us next, I was almost expecting it--but I thought it would be my dad. My dad is always so high strung and worried about his health, and I always think of men as having more health problems than women; plus, it was all his friends that were getting sick. I never imagined my mom getting sick. It just never crossed my mind.

And now here we are, scouring the internet, reading about carcinomas and biopsies and In-Situ and lymph nodes and staging... it's only been a couple of days and I just can't believe it. I can't believe that we are doing this, that this is *our* life now. Thoughts of grad school and going abroad all seem absurd now. I completely don't care. The idea of my final semester at Drury seems absurd. I just have no idea how to go on, or if I even want to.

I feel like crying all the time, and the back of my throat aches from holding in sobs. My mind races and I think horrible things like I want my mom to be at my wedding, I want her to meet my grandchildren.

I just don't understand how it happened. They both try so hard to stay healthy, eat lots of antioxidants, and work out. They do yoga.

I've always thought that people shouldn't get mad at God when things like this happen because I figure, what makes you special? Everyone knows that people get sick, get hurt, die. People say "why me?" and I say "why not me?" it can happen to you as easily as anyone else.

And yet. When it happens to my family I am *so* *surprised.*

I know that millions of people have gone through this. I know that my family and I are surrounded by people who love and support us. Still, somehow the thing I feel, almost more than terror and sadness, is completely, utterly alone.

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