Monday, April 02, 2012

The Aunt Annette Update

It’s only been 8 days since Aunt Annette got her preliminary Multiple Myeloma diagnosis. It feels like it has been weeks. It strikes me as funny how, in a situation such as this, you just jump in. You do what you have to do. You don’t look around and bemoan your fate. You get shit done.

That’s what the last week has been about: getting shit done.

Aunt Annette was in excruciating pain because she had a fractured vertebrae in her back. The reason for the fracture was the cancer. She had surgery on Wednesday and, since then, she has felt remarkably better. She was discharged from the hospital on Friday. But she still has cancer. We still have to deal with the cancer.

On Friday, she has an appointment for a second opinion. My mom is going with her. They will look at her options and compare and contrast and choose a care team. And then it will be full steam ahead with her first treatments. All systems go. Operation: fuck cancer.

The last 8 days have been exhausting for all of us. I can’t complain. I am not spending the night in the hospital. I am not spending every free moment on the phone with doctors and insurance companies. What I am doing are the limited tasks that I can actually do. (I hate, right now, that I did not choose a career in health care.) I set up a blog so that Aunt Annette’s friends and family can follow her progress. I researched doctors under my mother’s direction. I sat in Aunt Annette’s hospital room on Friday and helped carry flowers to the car when she was finally released. And I took her to her doctor today – to establish care with a new primary care physician, since her old one made such enormous mistakes in the last couple of months.

Oh, and I made dinner. Of course I made dinner.

And I’m just trying to help my mom out as much as possible. Because she’s the saint in this situation. She was already stretched so, so thin (she recently took on a big role in her professors union, in addition to teaching a full class load) – I worry about how much more she can take.

And I worry about Aunt Annette.

Oh! That’s something else you can add to my list of tasks: worrying.

I totally have the monopoly on worrying.

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