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Browsing Tag: cancer

Update on My Mom: Glio-BLAST-THAT-oma

There were six people in the room with the neurosurgeon yesterday when we met to discuss Mom’s biopsy results, if you don’t count my brother and sister-in-law who were FaceTiming from Sarah’s office in Wisconsin. Our family does love a party. My mom’s surgeon feels like a godsend. She is patient, and quiet, and takes time to answer questions and doesn’t once look at us askance when somebody inevitably says something ridiculous (I’ll save the examples to protect the guilty…er, me). She is knowledgeable and experienced and we already trusted her once, so when she came into that room and sat down and immediately told us some relatively positive news, we (after extensive ridiculous questioning) walked out of that meeting weirdly, pleasantly, buoyed. Let me back up a little bit: You know the Arnold Swarzenegger line in “Kindergarten Cop” where he says he has a headache, and one of the children tells him that it might be a tumor, and then he’s all, “It’s not a toomah! It’s not a toomah!” That line has…

This is Not a Story You’ll Tell at Parties

I’ve realized recently that I don’t write about my mom very often, and when I do, it’s always sort of about her as a part of something else–my dad’s life, or my children’s. I’m not proud of this–mom is an integral part of my life, after all, and of our life as a family. Why don’t I discuss her? Why don’t I talk about her? I mean, we’ve gotten pretty tight, especially in these past ten years, and our relationship is–outside of a bumpy decade or so I’ll just call adolescence–for the most part, easy. So maybe that’s it: maybe the easy is why she hasn’t appeared on these pages so often. See, Mom is my constant. She’s as much a part of the framework of my life that to write about her sometimes feels like writing about what it’s like to breathe, or eat yogurt for breakfast, or put in a load of laundry for Clean Sheets Day. Mom is my constant: she…

On Brittany Maynard

Late last Monday night, my mom and I were driving home from my cousin’s Catholic confirmation, which had been at a church about an hour away from where we live. I’d been her sponsor. David was home with the children, having tucked them into bed hours earlier. Mom and I were about five or so minutes away from my house when the headlights of a truck appeared in my lane. We’d been talking, and my eyes play tricks on me at night, so at first I wasn’t sure. But we were on a road that’s getting a lot of construction, so there are big boundary barrels and lane changes along the part we were traveling. It’s a confusing road to drive, even in the daylight, so I usually avoid it, but I figured that at 10:30 at night, traffic wouldn’t be quite as bad. I stopped talking, squinted at the lights ahead of me, and my heart dropped. I felt myself get very, eerily calm. Yup, was my first thought. The truck had missed the turn of the lane and was now traveling straight into…