Saturday, January 23, 2010

My story

I decided to write down my story about my mom’s cancer battle so I can have it in one place. I have the entire saga written down in my journals but this will be more of a synopsis of the whole thing through my eyes. If the dates or details are a little off please forgive me, I’m doing this without the aid of my journals or anyone else's memory. This is just a small portion of the first day or so of the beginning. Forgive the spelling and grammar, I'm not an English major :)

So here we go…

In early 2005 I was a Freshman at the University of Utah studying Marketing. School was good but I missed being home so I would drive down to my parents house once or twice a week just to hang out and do laundry. My little brother, Aaron, was on a football team for Lakeridge Junior High so I would drive all over the place, mostly to Heber, to watch his games too. It was really fun. I loved being on my own but I loved the option of going home when I wanted. My parents were really supportive of my schooling and loved to hear about my classes, new friends, running for student government, etc.
In the early Spring of 2005 my mom called me while I was at school to see if I could come pick Aaron up from the hospital. She had taken him to our pediatrician to get a prescription for his strep throat. A few days before she had been noticing the whites of her eyes becoming a little discolored and it wasn’t going away so she casually asked him about it and he sent her directly to the emergency room. They had waited in the ER for a while and since Aaron was only 14 at the time he couldn’t drive himself home and my dad was out of town for a few more days. So when I got the phone call that my mom and Aaron were in the ER I assumed that Aaron had gotten another concussion snowboarding or from football or that he needed stitches for one reason or another so I wasn’t too concerned until my mom told me that it was for her that they were in the ER. Then I started to panic. When I was younger my parents never got hurt or sick, or so I remember. The only thing I remember as being a little scary was when my dad’s appendix burst when I was 7 or so and I didn’t know anything besides “Daddy needs some rest” “Don’t jump on Daddy, he’s still getting better” “Daddy will be just fine in a little bit”. I had so many people reassuring me that he would be fine and now, I had no idea what was going to happen.
So in my panic I rushed down to the Provo IHC where Aaron and my mom were waiting. I ended up taking Aaron somewhere, I think to our neighbor, Lil’s, house where he could play with Eliza, the girl his age, but honestly I don’t remember. I dropped Aaron off and went back to the hospital where my mom was getting ready to go into a procedure. She could probably feel my apprehension and continued to tell me that everything was going to be okay and tried to make light of the situation. I tried to be strong and sat by her side in the recovery area until they were ready for her. I wasn’t able to go into the treatment room so I had to wait right outside and watch through a little window. They gave my mom some medicine that was supposed to relax her throat so they could put a tiny camera on the end of a thin cable down her throat. It’s called an endoscopy, I found out later, and they could see where the blockage was with the camera so they could do further testing.
Those two words, further testing, became the bane of my existence over the next 3 years or so. I hated those words. Why can’t you just tell me now so we can all move on with our lives? Anyways, the medicine they gave my mom didn’t work very well so she had a hard time not gagging. That was painful to watch but she got through the procedure. The doctor found the blockage and pulled the camera out then went to discuss with his collogues while we waited. They wheeled my mom out into the patient recovery area where we were separated from the other patients by a very thin curtain and waited for the doctor to give us an update. While we were waiting my mom got really nauseated and started throwing up all of the orange medicine they had given her. Luckily she didn’t get too much on her because I have quick reflexes and held the throw up bucket for her.

I can’t tell you how hard that moment was. Normally it was my mom who held my throw up buckets for me, not the other way around. I am grateful I was there though, I wanted to be there for her like she had been for me all those years. Mom’s are supposed to be sick, they’re indestructible right? She was so fragile and that scared me. This experience completely shifted my paradigm when it came to the immortality of my mom. I realized that she was really sick or else they wouldn’t be doing all of these tests and no one was reassuring us that she’d be fine. The reality of the situation hit my like a ton of bricks and I was just doing what I could not to cry.

The doctor's ended up holding her at the hospital overnight, or a couple days, I can't remember, but Aaron and I hung out and my dad came home so I went back to school.

That's all for now, more to come later!

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