Week one of chemo is over for my mom. Today she was able to leave the apartment, drive her car.
I have an old friend whose mom - in a not-so-joyful coincidence - has the same diagnosis, 3 weeks ahead of my mom. It has been a real gift to have her as a benchmark. If her experience is any indication, the next 2 weeks will get incrementally easier until round 2.
Life is so busy, it is hard to breathe.When will I learn everything I need to know? I have never felt like such an amateur, like such a fledgling adult. I know so little about cancer treatment. Nothing about alternative medicines that could complement the treatment, nothing about experimental procedures.
I need to learn about, government aid, compassionate leave from work if need be, where to get the best wigs, great high-protien recipes, the best support groups, the best attitude to take when supporting someone who is going through this....
I know nothing. I pride myself in my ability to hit the ground running, to acquire tons of knowledge in little time. When I was pregnant, I. I felt so empowered by knowledge. I read and read and consulted and by the end of my term, I could have gotten some kind of certificate on the condition. But now I feel like I am grasping at straws.
Cancer has always been something that happened to other people. I am embarrassed to say that I have felt smug ticking off medical forms: Nope. No family history of anything, I would write. No allergies, no conditions. I've grown up with the belief that there is no cancer in my family and that we all live to an old, old age. A blow I am embarrassed to mention - and I know that this is so very very selfish - is that there is now cancer in the family. It is a different world. Sixty-six is not old. WTF. There is so much I need to learn.