April 17, 2005

No metaphors, just the facts

First, thank you all for the thoughts and the prayers for my aunt. I considered turning the comments off for that entry and I'm glad I didn't. So, as I said in the title, here are the facts and just the facts.

The diagnosis, after the scans, is very grim. The cancer is located in her leg, as I said, but also in her neck and spine, which we didn't know. Simply put, this is a death sentence. I'm not sure how long she has, but this will kill her and will do so very painfully.

The best we can hope for, according to the many doctors in our family, is that she can start chemotherapy, have the chemo cause the cancer to go into remission, and then, have it go very fast when the cancer inevitably returns to her body. So, that is what I'm hoping for.

We had my parents over for dinner last night so they could play with the grandchildren and have a moment or two away from this. They had a nice time but. But. My father looked diminished by the news and sadder and suddenly older. He is the younger brother and he worshiped his sister growing up. I hope my son never gets news like this. He fielded one hysterical crying phone call from one of my aunt’s five children yesterday.

As for me, I'm kind of numb, still trying to make myself understand and accept this. My aunt and her family have always been very close to our family. I need to call my cousins today. I just, again, don't know what to say. I'll find something but whatever it is, it will be inadequate.

Posted by Random Penseur at April 17, 2005 07:08 AM

Sorry about your aunt, RP. I loist my favorite aunt and uncle to cancer. And various other friends and family. Our prayers are with her and your family. I suspect that's not enough, but it's all we have to offer in light of the grim diagnosis.

Posted by: Mark at April 17, 2005 11:19 AM

It is very hard to find the right thing to say...

Hugs, thoughts and prayers sent to you and your Aunt and the family.

Posted by: Wicked H at April 17, 2005 12:05 PM

though i can't really say

i think the 'hello'
will be enough

as enough as anything else would be

Posted by: sn at April 17, 2005 01:31 PM

I am sure thaty whatever you said was perfect. Hopefully, your Aunt and her family are open to hospice services when the time comes. There are several cancer blogs which I read on a regular basis-cancer giggles, cheerful oncologist, hospice blog and so forth. Last week I received a copy of something called "Medi Binder" which is a notebook that tracks meds, dr. visits, history, lab results and other important data. What appealed to me was that I could take this with me to doc appointments and the pertinent info would be there and available. One of the lessons I have learned is that tell those that are close to you and yours that you love them.

Posted by: Azalea at April 17, 2005 03:07 PM

When Job's three friends heard about all of the troubles that had come to him, they set out from their homes and met together, by agreement, to go and sympathize with him and to comfort him.

When they saw him from a distance they could could barely recognize him. They began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.

Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him because they saw how great his suffering was.
-Job 2:11-13

I guess it's best not to try to offer words to someone whose suffering something that you haven't experienced yerself. So we'll just sit with you to let you know we're here.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 18, 2005 12:28 AM

I disagree. I don't think it's really possible to say the wrong thing. Well, okay, it is possible but you'd have to try pretty hard for it. The important thing is just to be there for them. They'll remember the call, not the conversation.

Posted by: Jim at April 18, 2005 05:46 AM

I agree with Jim, it's pretty hard to say the wrong thing, unless you're a complete ass (which you seem to be far far from, RP).

My aunt died fairly recently of a fast progressing version of Parkinsons disease. I think it was better for us to be just there for my Uncle, to talk small talk etc., to give him a mental break from the constant care and worrying.

Posted by: Oorgo at April 18, 2005 01:12 PM

Well, okay then. I guess I was just talking about myself then. I couldn't come up with anything so I decided to say that I couldn't come with anything. Which was, of course, coming up with something. So, maybe I'll just shut my big mouth. ;)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 18, 2005 08:09 PM
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