Why Me? Why Mom?
Why Me? Why Mom?
By Kaz Molloy
When you hear those words “I’m sorry but it’s cancer”, it’s like a blow from a heavyweight boxer. It takes your breath away and for a moment, silence hangs in the air as you try to take it all in.
Then your brain goes into overdrive and all sorts of questions start racing through your mind – like “Why me?”
It’s almost 4 years since I heard those words and I remember the feeling of utter shock and disbelief – my diagnosis came completely out of the blue. I burst into tears and was in a state of shock and denial for the rest of the day.
Now, I’ve heard the words again, only this time it’s not me that has a cancer diagnosis but my Mom. Again, it’s come out of the blue, but this time there is no positive outlook as far as treatment and survival.
My cancer was caught early; surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy followed, and 4 years on from diagnosis I am still here.
For Mom, sadly it’s a different story. Her cancer is very advanced and has been deemed untreatable. Cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer is rare; only around 1,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. Why does one of those 1,000 people have to be my Mom?
Mom’s diagnosis has hit me far harder than my own diagnosis did. I feel completely helpless as I watch this cancer take away someone so precious to me. I can’t fight this cancer like I did my own.
I have to sit and watch as my Mom slowly fades away over the next few months – for that’s all the time they have given her.
It’s made harder in that Mom doesn’t seem to want to talk about her diagnosis – she feels unable to talk to me because she doesn’t want to upset me. As much as I want her to feel able to talk to me, I have to respect her wishes. I have let her know I am here if she wishes to talk and I hope that she feels able to before it’s too late.
As an adult with elderly parents, we know the time is going to come eventually when our parents will die and we will grieve for their loss. It wasn’t until I got my own cancer diagnosis that I became aware of my own mortality and therefore that of my parents, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the process.
I know the next few months will be hard, both for my Mom, me and the rest of the family. At the moment, I don’t know just how I am going to get through it.
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