Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year?

(Pic, left - mam on Christmas day 2008 - four months before the first sign that anything was wrong)
New year's eve makes me wierd at the best of some extent it's always felt like "enforced jollity" - you stay up late, drink and lark around because it seems to be 'the done thing'. Jools Holland doesn't even do his NYE programme live, it's done a couple of weeks in advance.

This time around I decided well in advance that this NYE would be different. In all likelihood it's going to be a pretty horrible year: mam has advanced ovarian cancer and has already had a series of ops just to find out what's wrong and 'stabilise' her overall condition, which have left her looking nigh-on skeletal, pale and incredibly fragile. This year she'll hopefully (if she's well enough) begin a course of fairly severe chemotherapy which we know will leave her feeling even more rough than she currently does. Me, my older sister and brother are stuck 200 miles away, have done and will do what we can given our leave allowances and the logistics of financing 400 mile round trips.

I guess there must be a decent chance that the chemo won't achieve much, given how far the cancer has spread already (from ovaries to bowel, stomach and bladder). And even if its success is limited, it might take so much out of mam that she decides not to persevere (I know there's already been one night in hospital recently when she felt so ill she thought she was 'slipping away'...turns out she was just dropping off into a deep sleep. What if the cancer spreads even further? What if she's not even well enough to start chemo in the first place? So there must also be a decent chance that 2010 will be the year we'll lose mam - and have to work out how we move forward, with an 82 year old dad who just wouldn't be able to cope with running a house, but is way too proud to move to a care home or even just have a home help.

All things taken into account, I just couldn't see why I should be looking forward to 2010 because there's a good chance it WON'T be a 'happy new year'.

So I spent NYE baking, and avoiding all the TV/radio coverage of impending celebrations, watched 'normal' tv then went to bed to read, turning the lights out at 11.20. Must've been just nodding off when fireworks were let off for midnight but they didn't last long and I nodded off again.

Woke up the following morning......and I don't feel like I missed out on anything.

Phoned mam in the evening of January 1st and she sounds really perky, just like "normal mam". My brother is travelling up on Sunday and taking her to her kidney ultrasound tests and another attempt at chemo reg on Mon.

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