Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Last Place I Went With My Mother

It was now time to step into the land of chemo. I know chemo is encouraging to most people because it offers hope to those that are filled with disease. The room was filled with people that could carry on normal conversations and people that looked good. Sure, some of them had lost some hair, and looked a little pale, but most of them looked like they stopped by for a little dose of chemo on their way to the bank. And while that might encourage the average person taking a “get to know us” tour of the chemo room; it was a little discouraging to two daughters who sat at the foot of their mother’s chemo recliner trying to read magazines and look at their iPhones to hold back the tears that wanted to flow. We both knew that our mom didn’t look like any of the “stopping by for chemo people” and it would be the last place we would go with our mother.

We sat there for 6 hours as the poison ran through her veins, and we asked her if she was okay at least a 1000 times.  She was always “okay” and would doze on and off when the drugs would give her a break from the pain that now ruled her life. The nurse would stop by and say,  "You’re doing good" but we knew she didn’t mean it.  Everyone, including the doctor, knew what we were up against and this visit to chemoland was what I like to call a big dose of sympathy.  He knew it wouldn’t work, but this good ol’boy doctor from Alabama didn’t have the heart to tell a fellow southerner that she couldn’t have her chemo. So he told her if she could walk across the room (about 4 feet), he would let her do chemo and made it very clear that it would probably kill her. 

We were nearing the end of the day, and she needed to go to the restroom so I asked a nurse to help unhook all of the cords and tubes.  The nurse walked beside her as I followed closely behind. She tried to make small talk, and asked about the girls that were with her. She quickly said, “They are my daughters” with a strong sound to her voice that I hadn’t heard in days. The nurse quipped, “I hope this one’s your daughter or someone is following us.”  The nurse was just making conversation, but the few words that were spoken meant a lot to a woman that would say good-bye to her children in just one short week…

She didn’t have a lot of hope in the poison that was running through her veins, she didn’t have the strength to make conversation with another patient, and she didn’t have the energy to even read a magazine, but she was quick to say what she had…she had daughters.

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