my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer on October 31st 2015. I'll never forget that day, it wasn't only the day we found out but it is also her birthday.
I have never physically felt my heart break before until that very day! Even thinking now to the lead up to it I cannot remember ever feeling worry or concern.
She'd gone to get her results with my gran, leaving me and my sister at home waiting for them to come home so we could go for coffee and shopping as was our weekly routine. I can vividly remember lying down on our couch with my sister sitting in the chair in the bay window watching tele while my dad was on the computer. My mums car parks outside, my dad gets up, "mamis home." I don't remember exactly, but I either could see her reflection from outside in the mirror above the fire place or from the corner of my eye, but I just saw her shake her head to my dad as she got out of the car, from then on I knew. The door opens, she goes straight upstairs. My dad left the room and they both came down. My gran sat next to me, my dad back by the computer and my mum opposite my sister on the arm chair. There wasn't really much to say, she basically said she had breast cancer and the date of the operation had already been booked and there would be chemo and radiotherapy to follow.
Fast forward, she had her left breast removed and all the lymph nodes (I'm not too sure about all the technical information as you'll see) and a small lump from her throat which had obviously spread. And that's it, I remember one appointment my parents came home from and me being in total panic because my dad couldn't bring himself to tell me what was discussed as he couldn't hold back his tears, but such words as incurable were said.
A year and a half has flown by and I'm still no clearer in understanding, and/ or probably too scared to ask the questions. I have no real idea what exactly is happening. She's been taking hormone tablets as the type of cancer she has thrives on one of our naturally made hormones. She hasn't had any chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
In a short and awkward conversation I had with her the other day, of what I can can gather she has stage four cancer because it had spread to above the collar bone in her neck. I asked the question as to why there wasn't any chemotherapy or anything happeing as was discussed when we first found out. She basically said that they're not too sure if the cancer has spread anywhere else, and it's basically a wait and see situation...
This post is mostly so that I can get these feelings off my chest as my mother was very insistent that nobody knew except close family. Still a year and a half down the line it's surprising that not many people know considering the relatively small town we live in. I think this makes it harder, it feels like a secret and I've got to watch what I say.
When she got diagnosed, I'd just finished my masters that September and was living at home mulling about thinking about what to do next. This happening then made me get the closest and quickest job I could at home so that I could stay at home and be there as my sister was living in Cardiff. I'm still living at home working in retail and feel guilt that I'm now holding myself back from looking for better jobs not wanting to move away because im too scared of what might happen.
I thought writing it out would be therapeutic, but it just makes me think about it all. I'm under no illusions that many many families have it far worse than ours, but this is just my story as a twenty fouryear old girl struggling to come to terms with something she doesn't understand a year and a half down the line.
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