Tight Rope Walker

Tight Rope Walker

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


There are some really horrific diseases out there. Addiction and Cancer are daily in my life. I have to include addiction because our medical field considers it a disease. I honestly feel at, and I have said to my daughter, at one point you had a choice to sneak out of the house and look for your thrill.. you did it enough for it to not become a choice, but something your body needed, craved to keep going.
However, in my sister in laws case, Carol, there was no choice, she woke up one day and was told she has incurable, non surgical cancer. It's in her lymph nodes, breasts, and most recent PET scan showes in her bones. She has no choice but to die from this or complications of this disease.
But my daughter does a have a choice, she can choose to use or Recovery, to die or live.
Seems like a no brainer to me, but what do I know?? I do not have either disease, thankfully.
I spent 3 days with Carol last week. I saw a noticeable difference in her from the last time I saw her.. 3 weeks ago. She said it was the new chemo. She got all the symptoms and more. To see her sit in the chair and cry... no able to verbalize what hurt, or explain how she was feeling. I felt helpless.. totally completely helpless. To hear her say, I can't do this anymore. I don't want to do this anymore... was very difficult for me. One hand, I wanted to say.. fight Carol.. fight. The other side of me, the one that knows she has lived this way for 3 years now.. wanted to say.. don't.. don't put yourself thru this for your family, for us. What's right, what's wrong to say?
There again, what do I know? Do you choose the last chemo available to live or do you take what quality of life you might have and live for awhile? I just don't know.
I called Carol today. She is no longer at her "resort" home in PA, she is in Pittsburgh with her daughter and her daughters family, to be closer to the hospital. She said she would never go back to her daughter's home, they had learned the lesson that as parents, they needed their own space and her kids needed their own home. So for Carol to be sitting there now, I know it's bad. Her hair has fallen out. Her head hurts to even lean against a chair.. so she is on yet another med to treat another symptom.
Carol has amazed me with her fight. She believes in God. What I consider a strict Catholic. She has dealt with her hand with Grace, Faith and Love. She trusts God. I admire her.
Last week, as I was leaving, she asked me.. What happened to us? We used to be so close. I knew what I thought, which was complicated and I knew how to present in away.. that she would not feel it was her. I said.. my brother was extremely sick and then finally got his liver transplant, I was consumed with that. And , to be honest, I isolated with what was going on with Emily. Took on the old saying, no news is good news. So if you don't hear from me, it's all good. She said, life is too short and these are the times we need our family and friends... I am both to you, so anytime you are feeling bad, you call me or visit me. This is coming from woman who is touching her head with a handful of hair coming out as she said it.
Will I ever have a conversation like that with my daughter and her disease? Can I ever say to Emily, what happened to us? Can she ever answer honestly? I just don't know.
So when I say, I would not wish the addiction on my worst enemy, I think I better say, I don't wish any disease on my worst enemy. Disease is horrific... some can be managed or go in remission, some can not. But it all comes back to acceptance. Accept the things I can not change and take the good moments when they are here and accept the bad moments, because they are here also.
Please keep Carol in your thoughts and prayers. She is a very special lady to me.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way Dawn explained it in this post -


    I actually re-read it quite frequently and it helps me.