THE DREADED ‘C’ WORD

cancer ribbon

The ‘C’ word crept in to our lives insidiously,
first daring to show its face ten odd years ago.
Since buried in hushed tones,
tucked into the silent crevices of our minds

How dare it trespass,
after all this time of quiet repose
now crawling out of the woodwork
exposing itself in all its naked glory

I have spoken of it quite recently
in company although anonymously.
Expecting support and understanding
but only to be greeted with a tick in a box.

With a ‘not on my doorstep’ approach,
most surprisingly in the current climate
where it stalks its prey with no fear or shame
trampling lives into the ground.

The ‘dreaded ‘C’ word’ – CANCER – My Mum has just this week been diagnosed with Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) which in her case is untreatable and incurable (along with Stage 3 kidney failure – stage 5 is ‘end stage’). How on Earth do you come to terms with the fact that your Mum’s death is likely to be earlier than it should/inevitable? I’m trying to support my Mum as best I can. I am researching both conditions and I am trying to appropriate support for her in the community, as left to the NHS, these things don’t get put into place until it’s perhaps too late.

I am, of course, devastated at the prospect of losing my Mum who I have always had a very special relationship. However, I am more concerned about her feelings, her anger, her fear etc than I am about my own feelings. I can’t be there for her physically, firstly because we live too far apart, and secondly, because I have severe disability and cannot even access my Mum’s house. All this leaves me feeling so helpless and angry. But, anger isn’t going to solve anything. Nevertheless, we are entitled to be raging of course!

My dear Mum is so frightened of the prospect of her life coming to an end when she is still active and very definitely is in control of her own mind. But, I love her so much, I would willingly trade places with her without any hesitation! Why? How can I feel this way? Because I have my faith and that is something Mum has not an ounce of, being a staunch atheist. She’s 86 and very set in her ways and most unlikely (I would bet never) to believe in a life with God after death. If only I could take her fear on my back and replace it with a faith that it’s all going to be alright but sadly, I can’t.

Silently, in the midst of all the pain, I pray for a miracle. I am fallible, I am weak, I am not in control. I do all that I can and that, I have to accept.