So the last 48 hrs have been a little full on and I’ve just now really stopped to process everything that has gone on and how I feel about it. But before I talk about that let me go back to Wednesday..
Mum had her pre-operation appointment at hospital, so a good part of my day was spent sitting in the waiting room playing candy crush. They took her in for about an hour and gave her 4 injections, then told her to come back in a couple of hours to finish off the procedure. Basically what they were doing was injecting her with dye and freezing her nodules so that they could mark where the incisions would be and where the lump was. I think it was a bit scary for mum because before she went in she asked if I could go In with her, but the nurse told her the room was small and I could come in if mum desperately needed me. She said not to worry and for me to wait outside but I got the sense that she wanted me in there. It was a bit much for mum pain wise, understandably, but she got through it and we went home so she could rest and prepare for the next day. She was told to fast as of midnight so she opted for a big meal for dinner…a large Big Mac meal! Healthy choice I know but it was her choice and she enjoyed it, so whatever works.
Thursday came around and we were all ready to go. Mum in true form was tidying the house and trying to organise breakfast for us all, but but eventually we got everything ready to and got mum to the hospital. One thing I will say for mum is that she has been such a trooper! She has remained calm when others haven’t and has been more concerned with reassuring others than herself. I know she has had her moments when it’s hit her because we’ve spoken about it, but she managed to keep things together really well. Considering that other than childbirth mum has only been in hospital once in her life, she was doing well. But anyway, we got to the hospital, checked in and sat with her to wait. Dad had to wait about 2 hrs before he was called, so we thought the same thing would happen with mum; no. They called her in within 30 mins, then she came out and said “I need to go in now so I’ll see you all later”. It caught us all by surprise but we quickly gathered around her and prayed with her, kissed and told her we’d be waiting and she left. We asked the nurse when she would go in for surgery and they said in a few hours but they would take her in, get her dressed and put her in the waiting room to chill until her turn came. We were told it would be a few hrs before we heard anything so to go home.
Dad, Shad and I just looked at each other and walked to the lift. I looked at my brother and he had walked to the far end of the room and I could see he was desperately trying to hold it together. Our mum has always been the strong one and this had shaken us up big time. I asked if he was okay and he said he was just worried about mum. He wouldn’t really look at us so I looked at dad and he was almost white and was silently crying. Internally, my shoulders slumped because at that point all I wanted was for someone to hug me and say ‘mum will be fine’. I desperately needed that but I knew I wouldn’t get it and that it would be me that would have to do that to both my dad and brother. So I stood for a minute and prayed quietly, then shut my emotions off. I always knew I could disassociate from things but to be honest I surprised myself with my ability to completely shut off. But I couldn’t do both yesterday; I couldn’t feel what I needed to feel and support my family so I decided that I would deal with things later and just focus on my family. I realise in these situations my brother copes better on his own and I know he wanted some time alone to pray so when he said he wanted to go for a walk I made sure dad and I had plans so that he could do what he needed to do. Everyone deals with things differently and I think everyone needs to be given space to deal with things. As he left, dad and I went to Westfield to get some breakfast. And this is where things got draining.
I love my dad deeply but he can be hard work because he can be really negative and in situations like these, he doesn’t cope. And he definitely wasn’t coping. I think he silently cried for about 20 mins. I know it was killing him because it’s his wife and they’ve spent most of their lives together so it would have been heartbreaking for him to imagine what they were doing to her. But as we sat down to eat, he looked like the life had been sucked out of him. He was slowly crumbling right before me and I was desperately trying to pick him up. And that took a lot of effort. I reassured him that God would look after her; I told him it was a common procedure; I reminded him of his surgery and how successful it was. I used everything I knew to cheer him up. I decided to distract him with talk of renovations around the house and praise God it worked! For the next half hour we spoke about how we would renovate the kitchen. And that was pretty much how my day went. Cheering dad up, checking up on my brother, distracting dad and keeping people updated about what was going on.
We went home, rested for a few hours and went back up to Liverpool to get some things and have some dinner before getting mum. And this was where I had a moment of pure selfishness. Total. Selfishness. I was walking with dad and I asked him to come past a jewellery shop so I could try a bracelet on, one that I had no money to buy. I tried it on, got the price of $130, gave it back and left. Walking with dad I said to him “I’m going to buy it, I’ll just take it out of my emergency fund but I really want something to cheer me up today”. Dad looks at me and tells me he’ll buy it for me. Let me just say that every time dad offers to buy things for me I say no. I’ve borrowed money from him but I pay it back and I only go to my parents when I’m desperate. But this I just looked at him and “are you sure?”, and that was it. I got a new bangle. Totally selfish, totally materialistic, I know. But you know what, I needed something external to make me smile and cheer me up. I told dad I would pay him back and he said not to worry because I’m the one that’s been taking mum to appointments etc, but I’ll pay him back for it at some point. But for now it cheers me up, especially because it has a breast cancer ribbon charm on it.
But back to mum. We’re waiting in the waiting room for her and she suddenly appears (we were watching the wrong door!)…and as she’s walking toward us she is singing hymns! Honestly, she is something else. She’s smiling and giving us hugs but you could see the weariness in her eyes so while dad and Shad are asking questions, I run downstairs and bring the car to the front. She filled me in while we were driving home on the fact that the surgeon has said she will definitely needs either chemotherapy or radiation therapy, but we need to wait a few weeks to find out. She seemed okay about it but I’ve told her I’ll go with her to see the specialist so that we can ask all the questions necessary. The she told me about the friends she made while she was waiting. I thank Jesus for the fact that there was 4 other ladies in the waiting area who and a few of them had gone through breast cancer and chemo. They were all in there for different treatments but they were able to tell mum of their experience with chemo and show her how they came out. I think that made her feel a little better about potentially needing chemo. But praise Jesus, she is home and is recovering well. The anaesthetic has now worn off and she’s in pain today but she’s doing well.
So let me explain how I feel. I’m exhausted. I’ve had hardly any time to myself but I feel selfish wanting to be alone, but I also know I’ll crack if I don’t. I’ve cracked before and it’s not pleasant for anyone so I’m trying to balance things out. I went out today to pick up prescriptions and other things for mum and to have some time alone. I went to a cafe and wrote out this blog. I had coffee, cake and just sat alone to process things and deal with my own emotions. I’ve gotten emotional while putting this together and I don’t want mum seeing me upset and asking me why. I’m finding that I’m really emotional at the moment and it’s annoying. I’m irritating myself but I know I need to deal with it and not ignore it. I’ve gotten most of it out of my system today and will head to the gym later to vent out the rest. I’ve also noticed I’ve lost my appetite, which is even more annoying because I love food and food makes me happy (I’m Lebanese and it’s in our DNA to eat 27 meals per day). But that’s it, that’s where things stand at the moment. It’s been a bit of a whinge I know but I needed to get it out. Now you all know how dramatic I can be..!
The waiting game begins now as we wait to find out what steps need to be taken next. I’m sure emotions will run all over the pace in the next few weeks but by the grace of God we will get through it. So until the next post, feel free to comment or share with others. And as always, thank you for the prayers, messages of support, calls and love that has been coming my way. Thank you for those that have been standing with my family and I. I thank God for you and pray God’s blessings over you.