Mums’ house was now filled with ever burning incense; she was attempting the prescribed amount of meditation and was also trialing a new self-help drug…1 bottle of stout per day! Still quite weak from the operation day to day chores still weren’t easy but my dad had taken quite well to the operation of the vacuum.
I remember when I was working at a tenpin bowling alley I managed to get my hands on some john Denver tickets included in a bus trip deal. Mums all-time love was john Denver if he had a song out she knew it word for word. Mum was telling me on her trip she saw a lady she knew that had breast cancer and the lady was crying and mum was really feeling for this lady not being aware that she too would be experiencing this sadness herself in a few years. She spoke of this trip for years saying it was one of the best days she had had.
We had decided that mum should make some money promoting a new no fail weight loss program. Due to the surgery mum could only eat small amounts and by small I don’t mean like a small pizza instead of a large I mean two teaspoons of yoghurt and she’d be as full as a goog (a famous saying of mums’). Now I know this seems like any super models dream but to the average person it is not very appealing! The weight fell off her so she went from a thin lady to extremely frail. I believe her pain was fairly huge not that we ever saw a sign of it. Her smile always managed to disguise it. I was to find out years later off my dad that the pain got worse and worse and sometimes a hug would cause pain…we never knew.
Cancer is amazing it is really good at hide and seek and the doctors aren’t really good at finding it at times. Mums cancer went into remission and to get the all clear they give you a time of how long it has to be clear before you are given the full bill of health. Mums’ time was 18 months after that the worry could disappear. End of game.
Life was getting back to normal. Cancer wasn’t the only topic coming out of my mouth. I was catching up with friends again and going out and having a social life. Work was going along well and I had grown accustomed to the eye openings of jail life. Things were getting better and better. I had given up smoking and was back to being a health nut. Mum was going out for coffee every Friday with friends and seemed to be having a new lease of life. Dad was back at his volunteer police work…. Just like the old days..and they were good. In this stage in my life I had met someone new.well I guess she wasn’t new Megan had been my friend for quite a while and we’d both had relationships with other people and never really put two and two together to realize we were suited for each other. The first recognition, although I always thought she was hot (just in case she reads this!!) Was when we were having a regular “post argument with girlfriends” drink together and we suggested that we should make up a survey. Like a check list that you ask your potential flatmates.we were going through what would be included on our list and in an instant the person that fitted into the “ms right” slot was each other. We quickly gulped our drinks down said goodbye and never brought the checklist incident up again, another detour of the truth. We eventually got to the point t were the truth hit us in the face and we woke up to it and then woke up together!
The cancer returned after 17 months 1 month short of full remission. No one expected to deal with it again we thought that it was all over. How wrong we were. It came back with a vengeance. Mum was still very positive declaring if she beat it once she’ll do it again. Last time they meet for a challenge mum was a lot stronger so this next match meant cancer was going in odds on favourite. We weren’t given a lot of options though chemotherapy was out as was radiation due to the fact that mum wasn’t strong enough to go through numerous bouts of chemicals and radiation. The only option…surgery. And after the last outcome mum wasn’t even going to consider it for a 5% chance. Together we decided quality over quantity…can you imagine having to decide that? But mum did and we all supported her decision.
Back to tree hugging hippy shops finding solace in Louise hay self help books. When you look hard enough there are a thousand and one miracle cures for anything and everything. Dad was working with this man at the time that had a close experience with cancer and had recommended this new herbal treatment available only in America. It came at a price, of course, so we all put in and got it for mum. When it arrived it wasn’t just in a bottle you had to actually brew each batch yourself. The process took dad about 1 week to make the first batch. And the taste mum reckoned it made her feel more ill and she thought dad should keep his old job as just the barbeque cook! But if it was going to help… bottoms up.
Cancer is evil… in all its forms. Not only does it threaten your life it also depletes your dignity. It is the cruelest disease I’ve ever known of. The persons mind stays fresh but the body converts into that of someone twice their age. Mum wanted to do things but cancer was taking away her ability. I think my memories of the illness at this stage are unfortunately still so vivid. It is amazing what the human body can handle…whatever cancer dished out mum fought back declaring “you are not going to beat me”.