Monday, November 15, 2010

I have no clue what to title this post

My mom has cancer. She got diagnosed at the very beginning of October. She found a lump on her side this summer and when it didn't go away she thought it was some sort of infection so she thought she'd better go get it looked at. My family has never had our own family doctor or anything like that, mostly because my mom isn't super good at making and keeping appointments. Instead we always went to this walk-in clinic in Alaska called First Care. So like normal, when she decided to have the lump removed, she went into First Care. She said the doctor and nurse were all chatty and just talking it up to her and each other, but as they cut into her the room got really quiet all-of-a-sudden. She asked what was going on because it freaked her out that they had suddenly gotten so quiet. The doctor said that he thought it'd be best if they sent in the mass just to make sure everything was okay. When the test results came back it showed that she had a rare form of Lymphoma cancer that usually only appears in middle-aged mediterranean men, and most of the time, it is found in their leg. Well since my mom is definitely not a middle-aged mediterranean man, and the lump she had removed was found in her side, that seemed weird. So they sent the mass in for further testing at a more equipped lab. We all sort of breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that this was all just a scare for nothing. Turns out the results were right and she really does have a very rare form of Lymphoma cancer that is usually only found in middle-aged Mediterranean men.

Her oncologist described her case of cancer as aggressive, but they had caught it very early. All test results showed that she did not have cancer in any other part of her body. However, to be safe, they decided to proceed with chemotherapy to make sure that the cancer cells do not spread anywhere else. She did her first round of chemo a few weeks ago and goes in for her second cycle on this coming Friday.

Her hair started falling out this past week and that has been very difficult for my mom. I think you could have given her 2 months to live and she would be less disappointed than the fact that her hair is falling out. She's going to cut it really short tonight.

It's hard to see your parents go through hard things because your parents are the strong ones that help you through hard times. It sucks for all of this to be going on in Alaska and I'm down in Utah. I won't even get to see my family until Christmas time. It sucks to feel helpless, but not helpless in the sense that I need help, helpless in the sense that I can't do anything to help my mom. I'm unable to give help sort of helpless?

Something that has really bugged me in the past few days is how people react to people that are going through situations like mine. Granted, it's really freakin hard to know what to say to someone when they tell you that their mom has cancer. However, I have decided that in times like these, it is very important to not think about yourself. I feel like a lot of people around me are handling the situation in a way that they feel most comfortable and not even stopping for a second to think about how I would want to be treated in this situation. I'm a very private person, I always have been and always will be. When I feel like talking about something than I'll tell you my whole friggin' life story. But if I don't feel like talking about my mom having cancer, no matter how much better YOU would feel if we talked about it, than I don't feel like talking about it and you should just back off.

Now, I totally get that people want me to know that they care, so understand that in the right time and place, if you want to show compassion and ask, "hey how's your mom doing?" then I promise, if I feel like talking about it I'll tell you everything, but if I don't feel like talking about it than I'm not going to and you shouldn't push the issue. But I think the key to all of this is the right time and place. Example: trying to talk to me about my mom having cancer in the middle of a party, DEFINITELY not the right time or place. Privately at church, DEFINITELY could go either way depending on the day. At my home with only close friends around, DEFINITELY okay...doesn't mean I'll feel like talking about it, but I could accept that as a reasonable setting.

Understand that I'm mainly just venting. And if nothing else all I really want for you to take from this is, just think about the other person. It's not about what makes you feel more comfortable in the situation. If we're trying to be Christ-like, and I mean really truly Christ-like, than shouldn't we focus on the person going through the hard time and what their needs are?

I sound very bitter right now, haha, I don't mean to be, but I started this blog so that I could be uncandid (or whatever that word is) in whatever I am feeling. And this is truly how I feel.


  1. jori, I'm very sorry you're going through such a hard time. I will be praying for your mom, family, and everyone involved.

  2. Oh Joree, I'm so sorry. Your mom will be in our prayers as well.

  3. I am sorry for your family's situation. Food for thought on the issue of people saying stupid things, I follow a blog called single infertile female, and she just failed another round of envitro and having a hard time with how people react to her situation ( she has sever endo ) and her pastor said the following "“Why is it” he asked “that we judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intent?” " So though people may be putting a foot in their mouth, remember, they only care about you ( at least most do, some are just nosey punks who should be smacky smacked ) and just aren't the most tactful at expressing it.

    Hugs and prayers your way :)