About a week or so ago, 3 of the remaining 5 Divas sat down to dinner after long days at work. We are down to 4 because Diva Sarah moved out some time back and into her own place. Diva Jeanne was not home so it was me, mom and my sister Boo. Dinner was beans and rice, mixed with spicy corn, onions…a Diva Den favorite ever since beans & rice week at church.
About 7 years ago my mom was hit with a cancer diagnosis of cancer of the appendix. Yes, I know, who the heck gets that anyway? It didn’t even sound real but it was and they removed the appendix and part of her colon, did a chemo wash (super heated chemo fluid in the abdominal cavity for 45 minutes) and we prayed it got it. This cancer is so dang rare they haven’t figured out a way to cure it. 3 more times in the past 5 years it came back, same place in the abdominal cavity. Each time mom had surgery, they removed it, and once she actually did chemo but it was too much so she stopped. The medical pros know chemo likely won’t do much but it was worth the try.
After beans and rice, mom informed me and my sister that her cancer had returned, there is another tumor. It isn’t small and it came on quickly from the last scans. This time, even though they will do some mild chemo, there is nothing left to do. The area is so burned and scarred that there isn’t anything left and there are simply no real options with this kind of cancer. Average life expectancy once you are diagnose with this is 5-7 years. We’re coming up on that 7 years. In fact the doctor said she has about a year, give or take a few months, an chemo might buy a few months just depends how mom tolerates it.
I cried that night after I let it sink in, and I’ve had some teary moments since. But over all I’m just comfortably numb. The women in my family generally have to get our ducks in a row when crisis hits before we will allow ourselves to feel and have a melt down. Those ducks haven’t been gathered yet. She had to inform family first and we’ve been kicking ideas around as far as do we keep the Diva Den or not. My sister and I want too, but this house is not inexpensive to maintain. And seriously 3 of us (and eventually 2 of us) rattling around in 2500 square foot of home is kinda nuts.
This morning I was talking to my mom and mentioned that it might be good to down size while she is feeling good. She is retiring soon and we could purge like crazy and find a more manageable house that my sister and I can then easily maintain and sell this one. We love this house but it was kind of a transitional thing. I was getting divorced, Boo was back home with mom along with her girls, and it was time to find a place for all of us. We knew the girls would eventually move out, and mom wasn’t going to live forever. We just never imagined she’d be looking at a year. Heck I care for residents who have 20 years on her so I was hoping to have her around that much longer. But it is not to be. So, it looks as if it is time for the next transition as far as find the Diva Den II.
It’s funny, I had already realized what a blessing the curse of the divorce had been for me. I hated it, I loved my husband and did not wish to be released to explore new opportunities. But I saw the blessing in that mom’s final years would be spent with me and my sister, making great memories and not many adults get this opportunity to spend with their parent. I just had hoped for many more years and memories.
The landscape is changing on me and I’m just not sure where it will go next. I usually like change, but this is one time I’m not looking forward to it one stinking bit.