Friday, May 19, 2006

Three to four years. Today, the rest of my mother's life was capsulated into three to four years. If I start now, my child might be able to say her name before she dies.

My brother is still there with them now. He called me with the news. We seem to take turns delivering the bad news to each other. Each broadcast is carefully scripted and the reporter stiffens to give a steady delivery and let the audience take the blow.

Surgery is unlikely. The cancer is throughout her abdomen and taking it out surgically would be difficult, dangerous, and a demanding recovering would follow. This would all take place while she is still my father's primary care giver.

Chemotherapy only offers temporary containment. This is where she will eek out her three to four years. Round three of chemo for Momma would be less vicious. They aren't trying to kill anything anymore, just stave it off. She could take one drug at a time and still continue to take care of Daddy. Which, by the way, is why she is considering this at all. She wants to take care of him as long as she possibly can.

My father's Parkinson's will shorten his life and indirectly lengthen my mother's.

Tonight, my mother and I sit on opposite coasts of the country. We are each drinking Scotch. We are each afraid to talk to the other. We are each wishing the same things on the same stars. She is praying. I have been missing her for the past 8 years that we have lived apart. Now, I feel like I'm practicing missing her for forever.