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Cancer and what it has taught me

My apologies to many of my family and friends as I have not posted in a few weeks. I have been busy with work (which is a good thing) and finally settling into some semblance of a routine. Life has been mysterious to say the least.

So many of you may or may not know about my mothers battle with cancer. Back in 2002 mom was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth (tongue specifically). Through chemo, radiation, good nurtrients, oxygen powder, and the love and devotion of my aunt Christina and Uncle Don, she beat the cancer and was in remission.

All of that changed in February of this year when we noticed she had lost lots of weight and her speech became obstructed. Christina brought her to the doctors office and my mom was poked prodded and had her justice obstructed. After a week, the biopsy confirmed that she had cancer. It was a different cancer than the last time,but cancer none the less. We waited anxiously to find out about the cancer and if it was treatable.

The news we got was devastating and we as family got together and decided what would be the best course of action. My mothers oncologist, Dr. Goldstein, decided to put her on a mild dose of chemo to help, hopefully reduce the pain, and keep the tumor from growing. Pain medication would be given as needed.

For the last 4 months life has changed drastically. I visit the hospital where she stays at least once a day, if not more if i can pull it off. Daily routines are the norm and schedules have to be worked out.

Here are just a few of the things i have learned.

  • Cancer doesn't care if your rich or poor

  • Cancer will never wait on you

  • Cancer hurts everyone Cancer causes depression, not only in the directly affected, but those around. My mood is crap sometimes

  • Cancer doesn't have to fight fair Its hard to sit and watch someone die so painfully

  • It tears apart more than just the person with the disease (per jen marsh) Thanks jen--so true

Update: So I just got home on Monday and mom seemed in good spirits. The occational pain in the mouth but nothing that her RN couldn't fix. Lately it seems that the pain is getting worse and more unbearable. Today, I lost it. My anger overcame me and I lashed out. I am so angry that this disease. I am also pissed and not sure that I believe in the man upstairs anymore...I have lost my faith. I know lots of people will be shocked or outraged by this, but

  1. Why would God or the almighty allow this to happen to such a sweet woman. She has never done anything to deserve this fate.

  2. What is the purpose of such pain. She doesn't deserve this. I sit there and realize there is NOTHING I can do but watch her die

  3. Hope is a losing battle when when you don't see progress. Everyone tells me Hope is all you have but to me, hope is a long hair that I am holding on to one side, trying to lift up an elephant on the other side

My wish for my mother is this. I wish she could go peacefully to that other place. It makes no sense to keep her holding on while she is in such pain. I know we only have one life, but the truth is I hate seeing her this way. She deserves better than this.

I found out my numbers from a Numerology site yesterday. I have to say that most of it was dead on. The part that I am stuck on is I am a "healer" and look how well that worked out for my father and now my mother. The more I live the more I realize how random this whole existence is. In the movie I saw last night, Thomas Hayden church had a great line: "The two things we need in this life are sunlight and people"

I apologize for my rants, but I am very logical and can't figure all this business out. My friend Robert once told me in his office, the more I learn, the less i know. This has never been more apparent than at this time in my life. Thank you all for your support and love. I truly appreciate you reading my blog. I wish i could cure her but I don't feel that is in the cards.

Until next time...


  1. Kathleen B. AllisonJuly 28, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    Hi Chad! I have been interested and concerned about your Mom's situation -- and how it has affected you. I am dealing with the cancer dragon, too -- not myself, but Tom. You may have seen references to his battle on FB -- he was diagnosed with bladder cancer about 3 months ago. This is his second cancer -- prostate cancer 9 years ago.
    He had surgery in June to hopefully take the tumor out but it was too advanced so he underwent a radical cycstectomy 2 weeks ago -- they took lymph nodes & the bladder out as well as scar tissue from previous surgery. They then made a new bladder from a section of intestine and hooked it back up to the kidneys (one is no longer working very well - don't know exactly what that's all about) and to the ureathra. The surgery was 7 hours and he was in the hsopital for 8 days. He has been home for a week and is doing well - but it is stage 3 and he will have to have chemo. So -- all of this leads up to: I have no idea why such a horrible disease hits good people. I have no idea how to counsel someone who is facing something like this. All I know is - God is visible through our friends and family -- the ones who support us and lift us up when we are no longer able to hold ourselves up. There were so many prayers offered up on Tom's behalf - it was astounding. Are our prayers always answered? Probably not in the way we wish for - but look to your family and friends -- they are the answer to your prayers -- they will stand by you and your Mom - they will hold your hand, hug you, sit with you and let you rage. You are safe with them to be at your lowest point. I am here for you -- I know how this goes. You have been such a comfort to your Mom -- such a good son. It is not an easy role but one which you have lived well. Love you! Kathe

  2. Thank you so much Kathe. You are very wise and I have always respected you. You are an amazing wife and friend also. I have seen the posts regarding Toms cancer and my thoughts are there with you also. God is visible through family and friends. Thanks for your kind words and I wish you all the best. Thanks always for your friendship. Love you too. Chad

  3. Chad,
    So sorry to hear about your mom and your struggles. Simply put - Cancer sucks! I have been in your position twice with each of my parents.
    All you can do at this point is to keep her pain free. My dad passed away a year after my mom and I believe that my mom was calling him home because she could not live without him and he likewise was wanting to be with her.
    Stay with her. She knows you are there and you do give her comfort. My thoughts are with you.

  4. Thanks Monika. Friendships and support are what help me through the journey. I really appreciate the kind words. I know I am not the first, nor the last to go through this. Hope to see you soon. --chad


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