Sunday, March 20, 2005

There's Only Two Stages

In my last post I said we were pretty sure my mom had cancer. This has not been confirmed by a specialist, but I'm a realist. The reality is my mom has smoked for 63 years. She has chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and she gets strep throat every year. Eleven years ago she managed to make a miraculous comeback from chronic smokers disease, which almost caused the amputation of both of her hands. So it's a pretty safe bet that she has cancer.

They say there are seven stages a person goes through when dealing with the loss of a loved one, or the catastrophic illness of ones self or a loved one. The seven stages are;
1. Shock
2. Denial
3. Anger
4. Guilt
5. Bargaining
6. Depression
7. Acceptance

I skipped SHOCK because I'm not the least surprised by the fact they found a growth in her lungs. There was no DENIAL, only an idiot would deny anything being wrong with her due to her history with tobacco products. A big no on the GUILT also. I never told her to continue to smoke. She was aware of what could happen, just like I am every time I light one up. Next is BARGAINING. Who the fuck am I gonna make a deal with? So we move on to DEPRESSION. Sorry but I refuse to be depressed, I spend too much time making fun of depressed people, to join their ranks. Life is way too short to be moping around, so make it fun while you got it. That leaves ANGER and ACCEPTANCE.

I believe ANGER should have it's own paragraph, 'cause let me tell you I was fucking pissed when I found out she was sick. I was pissed at the doctor for finding it. I was pissed at her for smoking all those years. I was pissed at the tobacco companies for putting additives in cigarettes to ensure people would get hooked. I was pissed at me for being too far away for too many years, so that I didn't get to spend as much time with her as I wanted. She's 78 years old and I missed the last 16 years. Hell, I'm still pissed at me for living too far away to stop by everyday and see if she needs anything. So I have managed to jump the other five stages. I'm going straight from ANGER to ACCEPTANCE.

I have accepted the fact that she's got cancer. I have accepted the fact that she's old. Really fucking old. I have accepted the fact that at her age things don't look too good. More importantly so has she.

Don't get me wrong, she's not going to lay down and die, she's not even going to think about being sick, except on the days she has doctor's appointments. She planted her tomatoes yesterday, and the rest of the garden today. She plans on being around a while. She's tough and mean. She wont give up. Come to think of it, the cancer might as well accept the fact that it doesn't stand a chance.

A HUGE thank you to all of y'all (that's just for you Grace) out there, for the best wishes and prayers. Due to your support, I was able to go from ANGER to ACCEPTANCE in record time.

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