C is for…

cancer.  Could it be anything else?

In my mind right now, cancer is bigger than any six letters, bigger than any word, bigger than any blog post.  It consumes nearly every waking thought and brings me to tears on a daily basis.   Grief and guilt rolled into one, big, sticky ball.

Mama Knascar and I have never been close; I was most certainly a Daddy's Girl.  M.K. and I have very little in common – our senses of humor are different, style, worldview.  Virtually everything.  I think that's why, on top of everything else, there's a layer of guilt that overlays everything.  What could I have done to be a better daughter?   All of those times that I thought "I'll try to connect more with her the next time I'm home" and now those next times are, if not gone then at the very least in jeopardy.

I spent the first four hours I was awake yesterday crying.  Papa Knascar called at 8:30 a.m. to tell me that she had to go in for emergency surgery.  Seems the infection she couldn't shake was eating away at her intestines and they rushed her into surgery to remove part of them.  She apparently came through the surgery fine but once again, her recovery time will push back any attempts at treating the cancer.

I don't go home for the holidays for another week and a half and even then, it's only for four days.  I really don't know how I'm going to survive it.  Christmas is really my mother's season.  Whenever I find myself singing along with Christmas muzak in department stores – that's my mom.  Wrapping presents - mom.  Christmas cookies by the dozen – ma.   Is it any wonder I'm having trouble finding my holiday spirit?

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4 thoughts on “C is for…

  1. Phyl says:

    Hugs to you sweetie!

  2. mai says:

    i’m so sorry, danielle. i can’t imagine what you’re going through, but i know that you shouldn’t have to carry that guilt around with you. you obviously love your mother very much and i’m sure she knows it. to state the obvious, cancer sucks. hang in there.

  3. Jeanne B. says:

    Oh, Danielle. You’re where I was a couple years ago. The holidays are very challenging when facing a serious family medical crisis. This will be my third parentless Christmas and it’s the first time I’ve been able to feel at least neutral (big step up from hating Christmas and all the happy people the last two years).
    The guilt about your connection to your Mother is similar to what I had with my Dad. Being so silent and allowing Mother to be the dominant one put distance between us, and I never felt I really knew my Dad. Losing him, then being unable to mourn him sufficiently before being hit with Mother’s diagnosis, made it even harder.
    We do the best we can, and so do they. Even within families, not everyone “connects”. You just love her the best you can, and connect the best you can, and know that how it was was how it was and learn to be OK with that. My Dad and I managed to bridge a few gaps in his last months, and I felt we had some closure before he died. We ended on a good note.
    Do what you can to bridge the gaps, and take comfort in knowing that the love IS there, regardless. {{{hugs}}}

  4. Kim says:

    You do what you can do. No one — not even yourself — has the right to ask any more.
    Cancer took my husband and then my daddy. It’s a miserable road. But it does lead other places.

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