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One Day

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Oneday

One Day.

That’s all it took.  Just one, unimaginable day, and she was gone. I woke up to a call from my father saying I needed to come quickly, as the time had come and she would likely pass away soon.  The problem was, there was no “quickly” about it.  I was a good 5+ hours by car away, and still a good 4 if I tried to take a plane instead.  There was no quick. There was only tears, and fear, and horror as the “should be” 5 hour drive turned into 11 painstakingly slow hours.  I was right near the George Washington Bridge when I got the call.  I was too late. I also had a very long drive ahead.   But I am ahead of myself.

One Day.

That day I got married, and she couldn’t be there because cancer made her so weak she couldn’t travel up.  It was a Justice of the Peace wedding, not at all as I had planned in my youth.  But if my mom couldn’t be there, I didn’t want the big wedding.  I married the love of my life without either of my parents able to be there.  That’s a hard pill to swallow.

One Day.

The day my son was born.  The day I truly believe she fought and battled that cancer to be able to be there for.  She couldn’t get there until well after he was born, but she was there.  I remember her telling the nurses to be extra kind to me, because her mum was dying and there was all just so much STRESS when there should have been only happiness.

One Day,

That day my daughter was brought into this world, without her Grandmother there to wonder out loud if she had a curly haired grandchild, and to marvel how pretty and delicate she was.  I remember telling the nurse that I had held it together all day in front of visitors that I was just so heartbroken that my mom wasn’t there to meet this beautiful baby, but I couldn’t hold it any longer.  That nurse called the station to say she would be a while, sat down and let me cry while she held my hand.

One Day.

The day my father finally remarried, and I wrote a lovely speech that thrilled him, smiled for pictures, and made peace with the idea of him making that next step, all while hurting that the change had to take place because she was gone.

One Day.

The day I had my uterus taken out and knew I’d never have another baby for my mom to meet, but that same nurse was working, so I asked for her and thanked her so profusely for what she had done for me to get me through the happiest day that was still tainted with a touch of sadness.

One Day.

That day every year when mothers, including myself, are celebrated and revered, but the day is so bittersweet.  The card displays I walk past, the gift ideas I scroll past online, and the thought of “oooh, she’d love that!” only to know I won’t be buying it because she’s not there to give it to. The day when my husband and kids take me out, and I feel so special, but also a little tinged with the reminder of the loss.

One Day.

That day that I remember how she trusted me to get on my bike and ride to my friend’s, and my son asks me to do the very same thing.  Only this time, I say yes.

A lot can happen in One Day.

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Going Out With Fewer Parts Than I Started With

“How do you feel about a hysterectomy?” the Dr asked me.

I blinked quickly a few times, surprised by the question.  Sure, I had some severely heavy bleeding during my periods.  I knew I had fibroids, and they had just found a polyp.  My PMS was getting worse by the month, causing me severe cramping, which I’d never had before, and rage filled mood swings that made me feel unlike myself.  I was done having children, as I’m already of “advanced maternal age”, as I had sadly seen written on my last maternity chart.  But a hysterectomy?  That hadn’t been something that had crossed my mind.  I thought maybe they would do a D&C, or take the polyp out.  No, they wanted to take the whole kit and kaboodle out too.

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  Initially, the Dr said “we’d leave your ovaries, as they will help prevent things like dementia.  I nodded.  Both of my grandmothers had dementia, and it always frightened me a bit that I might get it too.  My memory is pretty awful as it is, never mind when I grow old!  Keeping the ovaries might help prevent it. Thumbs up to that!

“Oh, wait,” she said, looking at my chart again, “your family history shows a lot of cancer.  Are there really this many people who had cancer?” I nodded.  Both parents, three out of 4 grandparents, a semi estranged uncle who mentioned he had a tumor,  a great aunt.  The odds are working against me.  “We may need to take the ovaries too”, she said.  “Oh great, so it looks like I will possibly get cancer or forget who I am!” I laughed.  I must have looked nervous because she also offered to try to treat the issues I am having with meds for now.

A week in, I hate the meds.  They are some sort of birth control/hormone thing that I struggle to remember taking.  I feel slightly “off” on them and I don’t think they will be a good fit for me long term.  Surgery looks like it may be in the cards.  The only issue is, how does a full time working mom of 2 kids with a husband who is self employed working opposite hours take that kind of time off?  The Drs have said it could be 2-6 weeks.  I think I’ll be on the shorter end of it, as I tend to heal well and have had 2 c-sections before.  After the C sections I was walking and cleaning up (yes, CLEANING!) in no time.  Even still, I am scared of taking that kind of time off.

Not to too my own horn too much, but I am the scheduler, the planner, and the hub of the family.  I manage where everyone needs to be, how they get there, and what they need.  I plan the minutia of the day, keeping everyone in the loop, and calling for help from family when I get stuck.  With my husband’s schedule, most transportation and execution of tasks falls to me.  One of the ways I scare the kids to get stuff done like cleaning their rooms is to tell them I may go on strike.  If Mommy goes on strike, they know things will be chaos.  Taking myself out of the loop for even 2 weeks is going to be a strain on the family.  My husband is awesome and will step up to help. I have also had family offer to help in however they are needed.  I am super lucky to have them.

So there it is.  First there will be genetic counseling to try to get a handle on my genetic risk for cancer.  Based on that, the dr’s will make a recommendation about how much to remove.  I guess the nice thing will be no more heavy bleeding, and also I might even lose a pound or so..lol.

More to come.