Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Family Cancer

Somehow, when I found I had cancer, I thought of it as taking one for the team - that because I had it, my sisters (and daughter!) would be OK. Obviously, I hadn't thought this through. We share genes; the cancer HAS to have a genetic link. I hate it when my delusions get shattered; this one has taken a real beating. First Kate, now my youngest sister, Libby.

Libby's is different than mine and Kate's. Kate and I had genetically similar tumors; Libby's is what they call triple negative - it doesn't respond to hormones. This means her treatment will follow a different path - what was effective for us will not be so for her.

The good news part:  they caught it early, they can treat it.

She will begin with chemo, week after next.  The drug regimen should shrink the tumor - hers is near the chest wall; if it's smaller, it'll be easier to get clear margins when they go in to do the mastectomy.

Cancer sucks.

It cares not a whit for the plans she had for this next year, which are now all on hold. She's spent this last week pulling pieces together - getting an extra bed in for those who will be there to help her through the bad days. Looking at wigs, scarves and hats. fighting down fear with action. cleaning. (It's one of the family rules - when in crisis, clean. We're big on nesting when trouble looms.)

It's funny - one of the thoughts that's helping her deal with this is the same one that helped me.

No one gets out of life alive.

This isn't God's, or Nature's way of picking on her; of marking her for target practice. Life happens, so does death. So does illness.

It's an odd balance - simultaneously surrendering control while fighting to keep all the control you can.

this sucks.

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