I've never lost a parent, much less anyone to cancer. But Pokey Pants lost her Mom at 2 a.m. on Tuesday. A 3 year battle turned into a four step process over the last 2 weeks. Here's what the doctor's said.
10 days ago: "We'll let you know tomorrow if you can give chemo one last shot."
9 days ago: "Sorry. Tell your mom she has a month or two."
5 days ago: "Let's make that a week or two."
3 days ago: "Any minute."
2 days ago: ____________________
If it sounds like I'm bitching about the doctors, I'm not. Pokey says they were great, and she's a medical worker. I'm just showing how I watched a daughter who had 3 years to plan for her mom's death, still have it her her like a sudden load of bricks. But it was nice to hear her admit the truth in a confident way she usually doesn't express; because two days before it happened, as we sat there while her young mom was struggling to sleep with an oxygen machine, albeit with a cute buzzcut, she said, "At least when she leaves, I'm not gonna live with regrets. I took damn good care of her! A lot of other people will have to live with how they neglected her - but not me! I loved her like I was supposed to."
Thank God, I didn't have to explain that truth to her. Everything she said was exactly right.
For the last two days, every TV show, whether a drama, comedy, reality show, documentary or news program we have tried to escape into has been about cancer. I told her: "You know it's gonna be this way." She understood that if her Mom was attacked by an alligator with mittens on - every show she saw for the next month would be about exactly that, it's just the way it goes.
And of course, I couldn't be with her last night. Why? Because I had to write a newspaper article. A newspaper article about The Pender County Relay For Life Cancer Walk. Naturally.