Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wrapping my head around it all...

I skied "The Ridge" last Saturday and it was an enormous treat. I have always found peace up there with the hawks and knowing that my week might include some difficult news I embraced the chance to be up there, on that ridge despite the weather and the conditions. I was with my skiing friend Jon, who is always encouraging and always patient despite me skiing so much slower than he does.  Jon would wait up for me, then ski off as I arrived, I never had a chance to have a break so it was a constant 3.5 hours of skiing. I only stopped to take the occasional photo, which eventually became my excuse to stop, by the time we reached the end of the Castle Point carriage way where I had to change my focus from skiing forward to controlling speed I was spent enough to have major muscle spasms going on. It was difficult to say the least. I remembered what it was like when I learned how to coach an endurance sport such as cycling where there was a group of people who were mismatched ability, the front guys would not get a workout and the rear of the pack would bonk. I attributed some of my fatigue to the first person we encountered on the trail, about 5 miles in, he was sure to tell us about the conditions on the cliff face where the tracks were almost non-existent but the surface was icy and very dangerous. The stress of thinking about it robbed me of precious energy. Had he kept his mouth shut I probably wouldn't have thought much about the conditions I had already suspected and just skied them. The next day, I was fine, not sore, but my back was screaming. I couldn't move off the couch. I have been nursing those spasms all week. Today I tended to it.

My mom had a biopsy done on an area of suspicion that was found in her lung a few years ago. When it was first found they watched it for some time and thought it had encapsulated and sealed itself off. She had a car accident in December that required a cat scan and learned that "the spot" had grown, considerably.

My mom has CANCER...

I learned that today just after I spent 2 hours dealing with my muscular issues. In other words I was in the car on my way home. I pulled over and parked. When I finished the conversation and found myself in front of Tiger Lilly Jewelers, my college friend/roommate's shop. I hadn't talked to her in a long while. We had lunch. I was so glad she was there.

I called Kenny. I called Pete and despite not wanting to leave such news on a voice mail, I did. I couldn't help it. It slipped out. It didn't really hit me until after that when I called my kids. I think I just needed the practice saying the words before calling my kids. I cried. POOR MIKEY, I cried so hard he couldn't understand me and then Justin thought I said Anna not Nana... and nearly went into shock.  By the time Anna got back to me she already knew and Chris well, he knew too... I love my kids, they are so intuitive and they take care of each other...I finally caught up with Pete and thanked him for letting me be comfortable enough with our friendship to leave him such a message.

What I really wanted to do was to go back up on "The Ridge" and scream the news to the birds. I have always felt that like there was this hole in the clouds there that opened up to heaven. Maybe its because that was what I was looking at when I learned my dad passed away. The sun was setting, purple, orange, blue... it seemed to linger for a long time that day just like the processing of the news. Its also where Kenny and I went on our first date and where we buried our first dog when I was pregnant with Justin. The GUNKS are my prayer circle, where the 5 flags meet my soul.

So I'm trying to wrap my head around my mother's illness and know I most likely will be for some time. All day I have been trying to decide what my feelings are. Why do I have to place a name on them? Is it because it makes it easier to own/embrace that way? All I can say is that the headache that I had yesterday that was being generated back pain has now been replaced by my own hard thoughts...Mom, if you are reading this...I love you! (All our life you had us practice taking things one day at a time...)

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