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The C Word

This past week left me voiceless. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel and I definitely do not know how to explain how I feel. Not even to those closest to me, so I thought I'd give writing it down a go, because when you're writing, you can reread, change, and mould until you're happy with the message/idea the piece conveys, right?

A few days ago, we found out that my Mum has cancer. On Friday, she was wheeled into theatre to have a large tumor removed. Her operation went well and she's currently recovering in ICU, but this morning it was tentatively confirmed to be stage 4 cancer.

I guess, above all else, that I just feel so angry! When Dad passed away, we weren't ready to lose a parent yet; and now, four years later, we're not ready to stop clinging to the one we have left either. They were supposed to retire and grow old together.

I feel so lost. My frame of reference is so limited. I mean, to civilians like me, the only peeks I ever got were through TV shows (the most prominent show at the moment, is probably Grey's Anatomy*), and they don't really give a clear picture of what these medical emergencies are like for the patients' loved ones. What I can personally tell you so far, is that there's nothing romantic about it. It involves a lot of waiting around for what seems like just more bad news, and emotional fatigue sets in regardless of how many hours you manage to sleep. In addition to all of that, the utter hopelessness you feel, is overpowering. There is literally NOTHING you can do, and medical staff are often so busy that they don't always remember to tell you exactly what they're doing now/next or why (especially in South African government hospitals).

The only comfort to be had, lies in the bonds you've forged with your family or closest friends; and, if you are religious, in prayer. I also soothe my soul with the knowledge that hospital staff know what they're doing, even if I don't.

We're not sure what the future holds for Mum, or how much of it she'll have, but her surgeon is absolutely lovely, and unexpectedly warm; so at this point, a long road to recovery (hopefully) lies ahead and we are simply bracing ourselves to be as positive and supportive as we possibly can be. For her.

*Spoiler Alert: Do not Google or check out that hashtag this week.


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