Monday, July 22, 2013

Drifting Again

Four years ago we began. I suppose we never really ended, chasing the cancer cells through surgery, the terrible promise of Tamoxifen, and hospital visits again and again. Mother found her own way around the cancer there. The journey changed. The path became less clear and more muddled. It's strange in a way. Side effects of breast cancer. The trouble is dealing with that, with knowing it and living in it, walking around each day with that settled on your soul. The adjustment is not pleasant.

In many ways, I'm not sure what to expect.

A day when the thoughts are closer to the surface, when my memory of her good health is more easily accessible and the road to recovery is a little clearer. But it's still just a day. I cried, but not as much as I might have. There is no clarity, at least not anything new. Some days I feel strong, some other days even the shallowest drama on TV would bring me to tears.

She is in a hospital again. Doctors extracted the fluid out of her right lung. No big deal. Root Canal would have been longer. And more painful I guess.

But the day passed on too slow. Again. I’m counting of all the days until she is out of the hospital.

I know better to expect revelations. I know better than to expect anything at all on a schedule. It's been four years and I know that there will be more years to come. I know in the end it will settle. Not settles in the sense that it's ok, or not horrific in some way, but settles in the sense that it is not actively debilitating when it happens. Loss of any kind, especially the loss out of order of someone you love, is not a wound that heals. Closure is an impractical and misplaced goal. Mother is not a torn ligament or a broken bone, something a surgery and a few months of rehab will set right without further ado. You live with it. Your only choice is how you choose to do that.

Some people don’t know any better. Once they knew about mother, they give us the "cancer eyes." These were the eyes people, from hospital staff to strangers, would give us when they found out mother’s breast cancer. Pity, mostly. The looks I get from these acquaintances are very similar "condolence eyes." Like cancer eyes, I have little patience for them. That's not to say I do not appreciate people feeling bad about what happened to her. Of course I do. But pity does not interest me. To me, that undermines the experience. I prefer sympathy, or empathy. If people want to talk about her, I'm happy to do so. People have told me they were sorry and added something, talked about it. If they're just going to say the words for the sake of saying them though, I'd rather we skipped the formality.

I know this may sound harsh, that people just want to be kind. I know they're trying and do not mean anything by it. Still, I think it's important to recognize what's good to say and what's not. So I suppose I'm trying to say that. I am glad when people talk about her. What I am not interested in is people saying something just for the sake of saying it. Or mocking it. I did not notice it before, but I do now.


Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.


  1. My prayers are with you and your mom. She is indeed very lucky to have you by her side. Continue to be strong and positive. You still have lots of opportunity to spend your time together, uniquely with each other.

    Btw, it is okay to cry.

    1. Sorry for the late reply. Words are elusive lately. And I don't want to spam you my blog readers with all the sad news. Mother is okay now, doing good with her new medicines. "uniquely spend time together"--i like it. I will think about it..Thanks!

  2. I feel you... The best is just a simple touch from a friend who really cares... No comforting words could really ease the pain you feel right now.

    We'll continue to pray for your mom...

    1. Thanks for the prayer.

      What you said is true. I am glad with all the prayers and support from friends, real and online. It somehow eased the pain. Sa pag-iwan ninyo lang ng comment, napapasaya nako.. Thanks Senyor!

  3. Some people just don't know what or how to say their sympathy...pero ramdam din naman siguro nung iba ang pain..some would like to comfort you and your family.
    my prayers goes for you and your mom...

    1. Thanks Ric for the prayer.

      Isa ang blog mo sa may positive vibes. I know generally people meant well. Mababa lang talaga siguro ang tolerance ko pag under stress. Now that I'm re-reading all my post, I realized how sensitive I can be sometimes.

  4. Speechless.. just my prayers for Your mom's fast healing...

    1. Thanks Gracie!

      All your prayers are welcome and appreciated. Healing is on the way...