Another long day at the hospital. Another day with no answers. At least no official answers. My sister and I keep making small talk in the hospital room as Mom huddles down in her bed. Only her tiny head is visible under all those blankets. After sitting up in a chair to drink her liquid lunch, Mom was shivering and cold, and asked to go back to bed. I’m not surprised she is cold as she doesn’t have an ounce of fat on her body anymore, and even though it is 85 degrees outside today, even my sister and I are bundled up in sweaters ourselves as the hospital room is indeed cold.
We are talking about everything except the elephant. Because even though the doctors have basically told us she has cancer, the pathology report isn’t back yet; it is not uploaded onto Mom’s records. When Mom is distracted by a tech or a nurse, we have whispered how we’d like to talk about important things with her. My mother loves to talk. She always has something to say, but seldom do those words reveal her deepest feelings. Or let’s be honest, any feelings at all. That is not her way.
So we wait.
Mom’s health was fragile even before this cancer bombshell. But, of course, now I know the cancer was the source of the ill health all along. The weight of that is heavy. All this time, we should have been treating the cancer. Why did they not see it? She has had every test possible, yet it stayed hidden and disguised as something else.
Mom is a woman of faith. I sincerely believe she isn’t afraid to die. But she loves life. She loves her children and grandchildren. She loves her friends. She is moaning about being in bed instead of on the golf course. At 84 years old, Mom feels young, and she doesn’t want to die. She wants to live.
With the dementia, she hasn’t comprehended her current health issues. She doesn’t seem to be aware that the game has changed dramatically this week. The doctors have not been shy about saying the “C” word, but Mom doesn’t grasp it. Is it the dementia? Is it denial? We don’t know, but my sister and I cannot bring ourselves to talk about it with her — yet.
So we wait.
And even though we do not say it out loud…
We are hoping for a miracle.