Mother’s Day is fast approaching and with its approach comes a whole whack of crap that has been stuck in my head for, oh… about the last two years.
I am apprehensive about posting this and to some extent, I envy the OVCA blogging amigas who can remain anonymous. I think there is a lot that can be gained from that. But my blog is only semi-anonymous at best. But I think it’s time to just say some stuff that has been, well, you know, torturing me for the last couple of years.
And if you feel compelled to make a comment on this post, try to be kind, eh?
I’m just talking, I ain’t asking for anyone’s advice.
Part one of the whole David Copperfield thing of me and ovarian cancer goes like this, in a nutshell.
A bunch of doctors decide I need surgery.
I say okay.
Meet with surgeon who says,”Yes, let’s cut you open.”
“Okay,” says I.
“Unfortunately, the nurses are about to have a job action, check back when that’s all dealt with, eh?,” says he.
Nurses strike ends on a Monday. On the Friday of that week, I am in the hospital, in the first of many ugly blue gowns that really show off my ichial tuberosity.
Anyway, here’s the punch line you all have been waiting for. Doctor says, “Hmm, cancer. You’ll have to do this, and this, and then this. And this is a new doctor, go see him.”
Actually, my surgeon was great. I think my circumstances would be way different without him.
All this shite happened on the Mother’s Day weekend of 2004.
That’s how I remember when it all happened.
Lance Armstrong says he doesn’t celebrate his birthday anymore. Instead, he celebrates the day he was diagnosed with cancer, because it did so much to make him get off his ass (?) and do more with his life (?) and make the most of every day. So, for my buddy Lance, who I do actually hold in high regard, being diagnosed with cancer and everything that came from that was a good thing.
My own personal feelings on the matter are a bit more ambivalent. (But then, I didn’t invent those little yellow bracelets, did I?)
But the day is approaching and, at the very least, requires a bit of reflection on my part.
The second part of my David Copperfield OVCA story goes like this.
This is the part that I don’t actually talk much about.
Mother’s Day is also the time when we are supposed to pause for a while from the crazy pace of our crazy lives and give some attention and love and admiration to the women who birthed us.
Now, it’s my understanding that Mother’s Day was originally a day of political protest, when mothers rallied to protest their sons being sent off to die in the World Wars.
And then Hallmark got ahold of it and neutered (spade?) it and it became about carnations and breakfast in bed.
But I digress.
I think almost every mother deserves *at least* a day a year to get the reverence she deserves.
And I would be happy to steer some of that in my mom’s direction, but that’s a bit of a meaningless gesture these days.
My mom has had Alzheimer’s for several years now, and by the time of my diagnosis, really couldn’t be left alone in the house. As a result, my mom never knew that I, the youngest of her kids, had this god awful disease. My mom has no idea who I am when I visit her and can no longer put sentences together.
I think very, very highly of my mom. As much as she contributed to the ways I am neurotic, she also contributed to the ways I attempt to be fair and ethical and trust-worthy. She taught me that racism and anti-Semiticism were wrong, way back in the early 60’s. There were no other caucasian people around me who said things like that, or dared to say, “That joke wasn’t funny, it was cruel and racist.”
She spanked me too often. She taught me that it is important to be polite. She was, more than anyone else I am related to, interested in ideas and how the world was changing, and she was always excited when I got to experience something that hadn’t been available to her when she was my age.
Of her three kids, I was the one who was the least like her in many ways, and yet when I grew up a bit, I always had the feeling that I was her favorite.
And in a weird way, I could also see ways that my brother was her favorite. And the ways that my sister was her favorite. And all of that was really nice. To get that groove that she ended up really liking all of us, in different ways, but liking us. That was great.
In short, I miss my mom.
I miss my mom pretty much every day. Something comes up, and there is an ache in my chest and I miss her.
When I was diagnosed, there were times I wished she could *know* and be my mom and do the mom thing and try to make everything okay.
And, in my less selfish moments, I was kind of glad that she didn’t have to know that her baby was in this dog fight with cancer. Because it would have broken her heart and there was nothing she could really have done to fix it, and so maybe it was really best that she never had to know.
So, Mother’s Day is looming and I always feel like I should *do* something around all that and all the various layers involved in all that.
I expect what will happen is I will go to work and come home and probably spend the night hanging with myself, trying to make it all as normal as can be.
I guess I will let you know once I have done it.
And to you all, don’t forget to call your Mom. I’d consider it a personal favour.