Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The year nobody dies

My mother died four years ago today. Four years is not enough time to diffuse grief. I don't know if there is a set number of years that will do that but I know 1460 some odd days isn't enough time to make the pain go away.

It's been especially hard to get over her death because since she passed away in 2004 there has been a series of deaths in my family. In 2005 it was my paternal grandfather. In 2006 my maternal grandfather. And in 2007 my maternal grandmother. Not to mention assorted distant family members and friends of the family. There's been so much grieving I forget what it feels like to live without that constant cloud of hurt that lingers. There has been no time to heal.

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They say bad news comes in threes. I don't know if that's entirely true but I do know that good news follows good news and bad news tends to follow bad.

I remember the day I found out my mom's cancer had come back. Or more to the point, it had never really left and now it was really bad. She was going to need another extremely invasive, time consuming surgery, which meant a long recovery time but no guarantees it would actually work.

A while later I got a call from the women's clinic I went to. They had found something in my last pap smear that was very concerning. I had level four dysplasia, one small step away from cervical cancer. It was very aggressive and if I didn't have the offending cells removed I would be in a heap of trouble.

I lost it. I started crying on the phone which is not like me at all. I can handle a lot but that much at one time... It did me in. I was inconsolable for the rest of the day though I told nobody about my problem. I needed to concentrate on one stress at a time.

In the end I was fine. Things were taken care of and I healed. My mom had her surgery and it was as awful as we feared, but she pulled through and lived another four years or so. But to this day even though I can absorb stresses in my life like a sponge and seem like I've got my shit together it just takes that one thing to tip the scale and have everything come tumbling out on top of me.

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Fisher had a CAT scan today, today of all days. After a horrendous weekend where he did nothing but vomit and subsequently lost five pounds from his 75 pound frame, refused his food and generally looked nothing like the dog I knew just a few weeks before, it was decided he needed more tests STAT.

The vet is still not sure what's wrong with the poor dog. What she could tell me was though she didn't know what it was she did know what it wasn't. No masses, spleen looked good, blah blah blah. Then she mentioned lymphoma. There is a possibility of lymphoma.

And treatment options if it came to that.

And words like "aggressive chemotherapy" and "six to 18 months".

And I lost it, just a little, but this time I kept it all inside. I waited until we hung up before letting the tears fall.

He needs a biopsy but his platelets level is so low there is concern of him bleeding out. The bladder stones are still there but they are not a result of the existing liver problem, as she first thought. His white blood cell count is going crazy. He has elevated, very elevated, ALT levels and some other initials that I can't quite remember because I started to zone out.

It was all too much to take on a day that already was too hard.

Just too much.

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I was speaking with my aunt the other day, my mom's closest sister in both age and relationship. She's the one who always keeps in touch and makes sure we don't lose contact with each other when the rest of the family could care less.

She mentioned that she really needed 2008 to be an easier year. The last four have been so hard and she needs to rest. We all need to rest and heal.

She said she really needed 2008 to be the year that nobody dies. I couldn't agree more.

43 comments:

flutter said...

I am totally on board, Chicky.

I am thinking of you.

amanda said...

sending you lots of hugs

Redneck Mommy said...

Sending all my best wishes and good vibes to Fisher.

I hope he recovers.

I really, really need 2008 to be the year no one dies too. I'm thinking of you.

slouching mom said...

Oh, Chicky. I'm sorry. I will be rooting for your sweet Fisher.

xxoo

motherbumper said...

Wow, I'm really hoping 2008 is the year no one dies. I'm here and thinking of you (and trying to make you smile from time to time).

Heather said...

The year that nobody dies.

It has a nice ring to it.

Kyla said...

I'm sorry for all the painful loss and for more frightening news today. I hope that 2008 is that for you all.

margalit said...

Can you take Fisher into Angell Memorial? They have such great specialists there, and it's such a wonderful hospital. But it is tres pricey. If you can afford it, you might want to consider it. I'm on the way if you need to drop of a little something for a few hours.

Jerseygirl89 said...

I'm so sorry about Fisher and the grief you are going through. I really love the idea of the year that nobody dies.

daysgoby said...

Hoping for you.

Blog Antagonist said...

Aw, hon. It's been rough, hasn't it? I hope Fisher pulls through. He sounds like a great dog. More than a dog, a friend.

I was diagnosed with that same thing in 1993, three months before I got married. I was a wreck. But I had the colposcopy and everything was fine.

Also, how cool is it that you live near Margalit, and what a SWEETIE she is to offer to babysit! I would do it if I could.

mamatulip said...

My heart's stretched out to yours, Mrs. C.

Thinking of you. And Fisher.

jen said...

oh honey. i'm thinking of you. and fisher. and you.

Lawyer Mama said...

I really hope Fisher pulls through. I know that's got to be too much right now. ((hugs))

mandy said...

I just started reading your blog in the last few months. Sorry to hear that things are rough for you right now. I hope Fisher is okay...

Lara said...

it's been almost nine years since my dad died, and it's still hard. it always will be, but you've got wonderful people in your life to help you through. i'm sincerely wishing for a happy and healthy 2008 for you and your family.

Carol said...

My mom died of ovarian cancer in Spring of 2004 too (actually, on Easter morning), exactly four years to the day after her diagnosis. I know exactly what you mean about time just not always feeling like it's a healing force. On Christmas morning of that year, our beloved Golden Retriever suddenly died. It seemed that the happiest holidays were the most cursed!

Hang in there and know that I'm thinking of you!

Carol

Mrs. Chicken said...

Sadly, there is no statute of limitations on grief.

Thinking of you and hoping things take a turn for the better.

Pendullum said...

And I hope they find the cause of Fischer's distress so that there can be treatment...
Thinking of you Mrs. C...
Hoping for a good 2008!

Hannah said...

Hugs to Fisher, and to you.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry to hear about Fisher. I agree about 2008, too. Hugs to you and to Fisher.

Ree said...

Yes please. {{hugs}}

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Here's to a death-free '08. Thinking of you.

Kizz said...

Oh if only one year could be death free, that's a good wish. I'll wish it with you.

AnotherMomCreation said...

If only I could tell you when the grieving and hurt stops. It's been 11 years, and though I am a crier by nature, I do know I am doing better with my mom's passing. Better, not over it though.

I too hope 2008 is a good year.
You sure need it.

jennster said...

hugs. lots of hugs. and maybe some chocolate. and wine? hell, vodka. yeah. all those things.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Big hugs to you. I hope Fisher pulls through this all. You need a big break.

Jeff said...

I'm sorry for all your pain, loss and sorrow over the years.

Here's to a good 2008 :-)

Major Bedhead said...

I'm sorry to hear about Fisher and I, too, hope 2008 is a better year. For all of us.

Oh, The Joys said...

I am so with you on this. Like on my knees begging whatever God will grant it.

Mac and Cheese said...

Prayers going out to both you and Fisher.

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pgoodness said...

Ah, yes. Unfortunately, I have to amend mine to the year no one else dies, but I'm on board. I need an easier rest of the year, too.

I'm so sorry to hear about your poor Fisher - the not knowing is almost as horrible as watching them suffer.

And I am sorry about the loss of your mom. I can't even fathom how terrible it is, especially on the anniversary of.

FishyGirl said...

The pain never goes away. It lessens, and you get to a point where you think it is gone, and then something simple, a smell, a song, the faintest whisper of a breeze will send you over the edge again. It's been 22 years since I lost my mom, and it's still there. Not all the time, but still there.

I am so sorry to hear about Fisher - praying that he gets better soon.

I am ALL for 2008 as the year when nobody dies.

Julie Pippert said...

Oh babe.

First, I don't think you ever recover from a loss like that. We just get the coping mechanisms and acceptance in place, KWIM? (hug)

Second, all of that anyone would have lost it.

Third, amen to 2008 being the year of good, not catastrophe or tragedy.

I am so sorry about Fisher. You know I know. I hope they find the answer and it's not the worst case scenario.

Remember the rule of thumb:

Vets are pessimistic
Surgeons are optimistic
Oncologists straddle the two

A systemic reaction like that makes me wonder about something he ingested or a weird infection. But I'm no vet.

I just care. Hang in there. Good wishes from here.

Jozet at Halushki said...

Many gentle hugs.

And a white candle lit - for strength and a peaceful year.

Izzy said...

Damn. You've had a rough four years. All I can say without resorting to platitudes is hang in there. As sung by that great sage, Howard Jones... things can only get better. And I really hope they do, esp. with Fisher.

Jess Riley said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Fisher...I also hope 2008 is a much gentler, happier year. Sending a big hug your way...

SUEB0B said...

Yes, I sure hope so.

PunditMom said...

Big hugs coming your way. And fingers crossed for 2008.

crunchycarpets said...

That is our wish too....
We just can't deal with death right now

kgirl said...

I agree. I'd say we deserve it.

Sandra said...

Oh I am a bad bloggy friend.

Glad I dug back in your archives to catch-up so I can send a big hug and echo that I hope this is the year that no body dies. This is the year of birth and healing and sweet Fisher being a-okay.