2003-11-03 - 4:29 p.m.
My cell phone rang as soon as I left the office Friday at 2:15. My mother was sobbing into her line. She'd been to see her doctor. Apparently the recurrent ear infection she's been treating with multiple bouts of antibiotics is due to necropathy in her ear. They're not sure yet if she has a tumor.
She has an MRI on Friday. They know already that she has extensive bone damage. She may have to have her eardrum removed to avoid gangrene. Or worse, her cancer, which we thought was healed after five years, could be back.
You think you've heard the worst of it, don't you? You think I'm going to say that we're going to band together as a family and support her no matter what. Oh no. Not this bunch of fuckups.
I'm walking toward the car very slowly, not feeling the increasingly heavy rain, tongue thick in my mouth. I want to reassure her, so I'm pulling out all the trite phrases and helpful advice from last time, but inside I'm remembering having to drag her into the hospital over and over. Throwing her dehydrated body over my shoulder when her fever reached 106. I sit down on a bench by the arboretum, halfway between car and office. She's still talking.
And she says the worst things. She says:
I wish I'd never taken the treatment, that you'd let me die.
And I say:
Mom, you would have died long and slow and ugly, with an inoperable tumor pressing on your brain stem. We would have had to put you into a hospice and shot you with morphine by now. How can you wish for death? You're able to live on your own. You're financially stable. You're alive and healthy, for god's sake.
And she says in return:
I don't care. I'd rather just die.
I'm 29 years old. I've been in counseling a long time. I have carefully planned coping skills for crises. But not this weekend. Not after that conversation. After we hung up I called Daddy to make sure he was ok, and then I made the decision to not decide anything else for 48 hours. Drove home, made a batch of tainted brownies, and started eating.
I'll tell you about Halloween some other time. I'm scared for real right now.
2003-11-03 - 4:02 p.m.
Small changes here. I've updated and re-organized the links.
Halloween bad. Camera lost. Party very strange. More later. Feeling cryptic.
Comments: Speak your piece!
former / latter