Two Fridays ago, I took the afternoon off from work to accompany my mom to her oncologist appointment, and to spend the rest of the afternoon with her, stopping by to browse at every store on the list of stores she must visit when she’s visiting Moncton: Wal-Mart, Fabricville, McArthurs Flower Shop, Winners, and Home Depot. She always visits those same stores, probably most often in the same order. The one thing that didn’t go as planned is the oncologist telling my mom that it was time to admit her and do a bunch of testing to determine which kind of cancer treatment to start, and then start said treatments.
During the process, they uncovered the reason my mom had been limping in pain for two weeks; her femur was cracked and ready to snap at any moment. They told her that she was going into surgery the next day, and that they were going to insert a metal rod inside her femur, from her hip to her knee. The surgery went really well. Today, after 9 days in the hospital, she was discharged to go home to properly heal and recuperate before starting 6 chemo treatments, 21 days apart each. She will have to come to Moncton for the first treatment and they will keep her overnight to see how she reacts, and then she will be able to receive the subsequent treatments in Bathurst.
I went to visit my mother each of the nine days she was hospitalized. I called ahead every day and picked up the things she wanted that day. Every day she wanted an orange Gatorade, and I snuck fast food into the hospital for her. I felt so guilty bringing fast food into a hospital that I brought grocery store recycling bags every day to smuggle the fast food in! But it made her happy. My father came to Moncton for a few days with his big truck, and had to sleep here on the couch in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment. I did everyone’s laundry.
It was a really intense nine days. With my car broken down in the hospital’s parking lot, my brother’s truck broken down in Bathurst, my dad’s big truck in the garage, work, chorale, voice lessons, committee meetings, hospital visits… My right eye has been twitching for days. I’m so tired. My period is really late. I’m not pregnant, just stressed. I’m on birth control, and I tested to be sure. But I wouldn’t want to have been anywhere else. I baked her cinnamon rolls. I was happy to be able to make her happy.
So how fucked up is it, that I still feel that mild feeling of elation the moment they either drive out of town, or that I drive out of theirs? I don’t think that I’m evil, I think that it’s just so exhausting for me to try to live up to their expectations of me…