Today I found out that my mother is very sick. We've known for a few weeks now that something was wrong in her kidney--they found a tumor there. But it looked like the tumor was confined. Now they think it's spread, possibly to her lungs--there are spots there. This would be Stage Four kidney cancer, then. They've scheduled more tests, but the doctors apparently said (this from my dad, who couldn't stop crying) they don't even know if taking out the kidney will help at this stage.
I am, as you can probably guess, not doing well. My parents live far from me, and I'm trying to figure out when I should go, for how long, what to do about work, all that stuff. I need to suddenly be the adult here, be the one asking questions and holding everyone up, because they aren't doing well. I'm very close to my parents, and they are falling apart before my eyes, and it's the scariest, most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my entire life.
I've lived these past few weeks in a daze of kids and house and preparations for Christmas, not letting myself ask the question "what happens if." My brother just asked me that question. He said, "Karen, what's going to happen?"
I don't want to know the answer to that if this thing has, indeed, spread to her lungs.
I'll know more soon, because I couldn't get a lot from my dad. He was barely coherent, and then I suppose I asked too many questions, because he hung up on me.
And somehow I have to find it in me to be a mom--a functioning mom--around my kids. How do you hold up their world when your own is crumbling into pieces around you?