Monday, February 14, 2011

Turmoil

Life can change in an instant. We all know this, but when it happened to me, I was just as blindsided as the next person - thoughts of "what the HELL???" "this can't be happening" and the one-two punch of "this isn't fair" and "I'm not ready to even THINK about this, much less deal with it."

And no, I'm not talking about my ankle injury. Small potatoes, folks.

You see, about two weeks ago, we found out my mom has cancer. It came completely out of the blue - she isn't sick. She had just gone in for her yearly check up and mentioned an occasional stomach pain, and the doctor sent her for an ultrasound to check for gall stones. No big deal, right? Except that it turned out to be a very big deal. A spot was detected on her liver, a CT scan was done, and they biopsied the spot.

After that first numbing "it's positive" phone conversation with my mom, I wandered around the house aimlessly, in a daze. Finally I sat down and thought to myself "I should call someone" and you know who I went to call? My mom. Because that's who I would always call when I got shocking news like that. Except that this time, SHE was the shocking news.

Trying to move forward while we waited for the next doctor appointment, I did a load of laundry one morning and hung my workout clothes and several other shirts to dry - I use my shower stall as the drying rack. A little while after, I went to go take a shower so I grabbed all those clothes and hung them, temporarily, in my closet. Two days later I realized that I never moved them back to the shower area to finish air drying! Luckily I guess having the heater on so much in the house kept them from mildewing. I've loaded the dishwasher, put soap in it, and forgotten to start it. Written emails and hit discard instead of send by mistake - more than once. Same for text messages. My brain is not engaging correctly. This just does not compute.

Officially, my mom has gallbladder cancer that has spread to her liver and lymph nodes. Luckily, she has a bunch of doctors and specialists who are working with her and looking for the best options. She is scheduled to have surgery on February 25th, and while it will be a major procedure with an expected six-to-eight week recovery, she is very young, fit and healthy, which will be a huge benefit for getting through all of this.

I'm going to fly out to Oregon this Thursday. We will have a week before her surgery to shop, play and get into trouble mess around - and who knows, you might just see a dressing room fashion show soon! Then surgery, hospital time, and home to recuperate...my parents are planning on attending Sam's college graduation on May 14th, so we need to get this show on the road. Cancer can't get in the way of living life!
Live being lived in a major way - zip-lining in Maui, 11-1-10!

********************

By the way, if cancer could be cured by eating coconut M&Ms, well, let's just say that great inroads have been made recently. Logically, I know that stress eating candy won't help the situation. But this situation is not exactly logical. How can someone who isn't even sick; who barely has the tiniest bit of one symptom, have such a terrible disease? It does not make sense. And so I eat when it gets to be too much to think about. Some days are better than others with this - the last few have been M&M-free. But, it is what it is, and I'm just being honest here.

Amazing how small my ankle injury looks now, isn't it?

53 comments:

  1. Oh, Shelley. Honey, I am so sorry to read this news. I will keep you, your Mom and your family in my thoughts as you go through this trying time. I am so glad that you are able to go be with your Mom.

    These sort of events just snap things into their real perspective, don't they? Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh friend Im so sorry.
    Prayers your way.
    Reminders that you have my email your way.
    Loving nudges to let me know if you want my cell phone number your way.

    MASSIVE HUGS.

    Carla

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shelley I'm so sorry to hear this. I wish your Mom strength and a healthy recovery and I wish you strenght too to deal with this. I'm glad you are able to fly to her Thursday and spend time with her.

    I know how you must have felt, had to deal with the same 15 years ago when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It seems your world stops for a while and nothing is important anymore.

    I did learn one thing from that period and that's to appreciate every day we have and try to make the most of every day given to us.

    I'll be thinking of you and your Mom my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your mom, you and your family are in my prayers. Here is a huge virtual hug ((((U)))).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am really sorry to hear that awful news. I'm thinking positive thoughts and sending prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You know I am there. Anything.
    This was, once again, beautifully written.
    Did you know that I did not know of the existence of the coconut M. Some things I am better being in the dust about.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so sorry to hear this. Big hugs and prayers going out to both you and your mom.

    ReplyDelete
  8. thoughts and prayers for your mom and your family. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  9. {{Shelley}} Sending you love and wishing your family much peace. Safe travels.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shelley-I'll keep your Mom and your family in my prayers. Cancer sucks. BIG TIME.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cancer sucks. But you rock, coconut M&Ms and all. {{{{{Hugs}}}}}

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so sorry to read this post.
    Sending hugs, positive thoughts, and prayers your way. I wish I could give you a hug in real life.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Shelley, so sorry to read this news, you and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So sorry to hear this terrible news. Your mother is lucky to have you. I wish your family the best as you go forward.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sending your mother healing energy and some for you too... I'm glad you will be able to be with her through her surgery and recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am so sorry Shelley, but your Mom sounds like a fighter! And yes, doesn't this put life in perspective and make you stop and think how precious each and every day is - sadly, something like cancer has to make you think like that though.

    Hugs to you and have so much fun with your Momma - I know you will!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so sorry to hear about your mom's cancer.

    She sounds like a very strong and wonderful lady - I'm sending my prayers to you and your family.

    ((hugs))
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've read that coconut M&Ms help with any situation.:)

    You've been on my mind. It does make the problems in your life seem very small. Perspective.

    I'm always here for you. Always. For anything. You let me know if you just need someone to come shop with you or get your mind on other things. Or eat coconut M&Ms (I'm great at that)! I'm there. OK? Call me, text me, email me. Anytime.

    Enjoy your visit with your mom. I think it will be therapeutic for both of you.

    ((HUGS))

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom's illness. She does have a fight ahead, but it sounds like she also has a wonderful, supportive family. Keep your own support going strong - it's tough to have a parent in the "sick" role. (If you are near Houston, MD Anderson has support groups for family members with cancer.)

    Prayers for your mother and family.
    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  20. Shelley I am so sorry. Stay strong, keep the faith and ask tons of questions. They have made such amazing improvements in the treatment of cancer. My step-dad had stage 4 lymphoma and after a stem cell transplant is cancer free. A dear friend of mine (only 45) has stage 4 terminal cancer. She is on herceptin and it is keeping the cancer growth to a snails pace. She is vibrant and enjoying each day. I will include your family in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. So sorry to hear about your mom, Shelley. Praying everything turns out well.

    ReplyDelete
  22. (((Shelley))) so sorry to hear about your Mom's illness. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So sorry to hear my friend. Glad you are going to be with her. Big prayers for you all!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Shelley -
    So sorry your mom has to go through this - as dear Biz so eloquently noted, FUCK CANCER. It's not surprising your head is on a little crooked right now - it's deeply jarring to have this kind of diagnosis with anyone - esp. Mom. I went through it in Nursing school and beyond, and it's surreal. I hope and pray that this is as easy and positive as it can be. Sounds like your awesome family will rally round and support her. Hugs and prayers to you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so sorry to hear that. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, and I wish your mother a speedy recovery!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Shelley, thanks for sharing what your family is going through right now. I am so sorry to hear this news.

    I am encouraged bc your Mom is young & fit & it sounds like something that could have gone undetected for a while was brought to light early.

    I think you should enlist the help of your local friends to help you this week until you leave. It is awfully difficult to function properly in the fog of such upsetting news. Maybe someone could help you with travel arrangements or packing.

    Glad for the happy news of Sam's grad. Exciting, and good for all to have something positive to anticipate.

    Take a small journal along to the Dr appts. And maybe travel with that stash of bars you bought a while back.
    Love to you, Chrissy

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh Shelley, my thoughts go out to you and your mom (and all of your family). You have my email and if you ever need to text me, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm sorry to hear about your mom, Shelley. I know that awful daze & foggy feeling all too well (my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005, at the beginning of my senior year of high school), and I promise - it does go away.

    I'll be keeping your momma in my thoughts & try not to stress yourself out too much - eat those coconut m&ms when you need to & keep your eyes on the horizon. Your mom is healthy & strong & it's great that you're going to be by her side, boost her spirits and play nurse for her :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Shelley, I'm so sorry. Your mom will be in my thoughts and prayers--as will you.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh Shelley, I'm so sorry to read this post!! My thoughts are with you and your whole family!! Wishing our Mom a speedy recovery (filed with coconut M&M's) Take care of yourself, ok??! And keep us posted on her progress!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Beautifully written post about a very scary time and subject. Amazing that cancer doesn't warn us very well ahead of time and even when it does, we often don't heed the warnings. Cancer can make us do or not do nutty things. It's a sort of grief that it throws us into and we are reacting (or not) to grief. A sort of disbelief, me thinks.

    BTW, I've tried tons of food cures, not just for me. But the one that works really well is Dove minatures (the frozen ice creams).

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh Shelley, I'm so sorry. I can completely understand the coconut M&M's. Followed with a chaser of Reese's peanut butter cups for me!

    Hugs to you and I'm writing down your Mom's surgery date so I can say I special prayer for her that day.

    ReplyDelete
  33. So sorry to hear this bad news about your mother, and wishing her the best possible outcome when she undergoes her treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well you know I am sad for you. I will keep you in my prayers. And I sure wish you were coming west for a different reason. But I hope you will really enjoy that special time with your mom before the surgery.

    Heck on the Dove miniature bars. The only cure is a big ol' cup o'froyo LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Shelly, I'm so sorry to hear about this awful news about your Mom. My prayers are with your Mom and your family.

    Hugs to you. Stay strong.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very sorry to hear this. My best to you and your mom.

    ReplyDelete
  37. So sorry. Positive thoughts for you and your family. Take care of you and take care of your mom.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm so sorry, Shelley. I'm not sure it helps if I tell you that you and mom will get through this, but....you all WILL get through this.

    Stay strong and keep the head at least partially attached.

    (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  39. My heart is broken fro you and your family. I have no words and I'm sure you've already heard them all anyway.

    I will keep you all in my prayers and think good healthy thoughts for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I will keep your mom and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I know all too well that life changes in an instant. About 3 months ago, my 30-year-old brother passed away completely unexpectedly. Things that seemed to matter even minutes before didn't matter at all anymore. Good luck to your mom. She's lucky to have such amazing support like yours!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Shelly I found your blog through Loser for Life and I am so sorry to hear about your mom's cancer.

    It's great that you can go and be there for her.

    Prayers for her surgery and recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  42. So sorry to hear about your mom, wishing her a speedy recovery from the surgery.
    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  43. hi shelly... i just checked into your blog after a LONG absence. Just wanted to send you and your family a whole bunch of positive energy. life sometimes just hits you.

    i'll be thinking of you.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh Shelley. I havent been around much in blog world lately. I will pray for you and your mom. Stay in good spirits. Hopefully they can just take out her gallbladder and the piece of her liver that is affected. Stay strong.

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  45. Just catching up here..... s
    So sorry that you got such news!
    Stay strong - you are strong!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Shelley,

    I cried when I read your post. I KNOW exactly how you feel. My sister's lung cancer (non-smoker) came right out of the blue. She looked and felt great. I quit my job and put my life on hold to be with her the entire time of treatments. I would give anything to go back to those months because we talked, laughed and cried. We can't lament WHY but we can BE with the person who's health is in jeapordy......when you are ill, all you want is to be surrounded by the people who love you. Sounds like you will be doing that with your Mom. Yes, cancer is evil but I bet you will find some humor in there somewhere...my sister and I did. I can still remember some pretty funny moments & comments with her. I will be thinking about you as I read your blog everyday and LOVE your positive and happy attitude.

    A very long time reader in Chicago

    ReplyDelete
  47. Shelley, So sorry to hear about your mother. Glad you get to go spend some shopping time with her before surgery. I will be praying for her speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So sorry to hear this Shelley, i wish you and your mother, and family the very best over the next few weeks


    xx
    lesley

    ReplyDelete
  49. I read your blog all the time, but have never commented, sorry.

    I had to write to tell you that positive thoughts and prayers are being sent to you and your mom, and your whole family!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm just catching up and so saddened to read this. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.

    Hugs & Smiles,
    Wifey

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am behind on my blog reading and missed this Shelley. I am so sorry to hear this. I agree with you that her being in shape and being healthy will be a BIG bonus for her. A positive outlook mean the world in this type of situation.

    Sending you and your family hugs and prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh, Shelley, hon, how awful. I am glad you are there with her now. Sending positive healing thoughts to your mom.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and read each and every comment! Comments on older posts are moderated, so they won't show up right away - sorry to my real readers, but spammers love to hit old posts, so this is necessary.