I shared a few weeks ago that my 93-year-old mother-in-law has breast cancer. She starts chemo next week, and my life has become a series of doctors’ appointments and everything that goes with cancer treatment. I’m not complaining, truly. I love her, so I want to be involved.
Today, we went to a chemo class. Yes, they have classes for chemo patients, and they’re filled with all kinds of good stuff, like common side effects, sort of common side effect, and rare side effects. We also got information for signs to look for that should signal a trip to the emergency room right away, no delay, no matter what, before it’s too late. Fun stuff.
You may be wondering why she would put herself through chemo, but she didn’t really have a choice, as the kind of cancer she has destroys tissue, so she’d have to constantly have dead tissue removed.
This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through terminal illness with people I love, sad to say. Hell, I feel like I’m a real pro by now after losing both my parents, my sister, and husband. My dear friend, Bev, died last December, and I was a little ticked off at her today, because I was there for her when her mother-in-law was dying, and she’s not here with me now. You think of a lot of silly things at times like this.
Enough depressing stuff! That’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this, because eventually, all of us are likely to deal with someone we love who is terminally ill, and I wanted to share my “expertise” in hopes of helping someone get through it.
The fact is, you get through it the best that you can. I’m lucky in that my mother-in-law is handling this like a champ. She’s been ready to go for years, always making the best of what hand she’s dealt. This is no exception. The crazy thing is, the thing she’s most upset about? That would be that I’m taking her back and forth for so many appointments. She doesn’t think it’s fair to me. (I’m rolling my eyes right now.)
Neither of us is afraid of death. We made our peace with that long ago. She calls herself a brainwashed Presbyterian, and her faith gets her through the hard stuff, and I’m happy for her. She’s the first person I told about channeling the Archangels, because she’s the most open-minded, non-judgmental person I’ve ever known. She may attend a…