Name that Cancer / Have You Met Marcus?

I am blessed with two wonderful parents.  I fully realize that many of my friends and acquaintances lost their parents years ago.  Some never knew them at all.  Some had abusive parents.

Mine were and are the how and why of who I am.

DSC05628I have written before about the way in which Alzheimer’s has been ravaging my mother’s mind for years now (My Mother’s Only Son).  In fact, that post was written nearly two years ago, and much has changed since then.  I spent an extended Mother’s Day weekend with my parents – Thursday through Monday.  Monday was the only day she spoke my name.  My Facebook status on Mother’s Day was:

She keeps taking my hand
I think she knows who I am
Just don’t ask her my name

On another recent visit, when my oldest sister entered the room where Mom and I were sitting, my mother asked my sister, “Have You Met Marcus?”

These are excruciating moments.

While I was home that Mother’s Day weekend, my dad started experiencing pain in his midsection.  We all essentially chalked it up to the Pancreatitis he has battled for years.  Since that time, Dad has undergone numerous endoscopic ultrasounds, and had multiple biopsies taken – he’s even had test results sent to the Mayo Clinic for analysis – in order to determine whether he has an aggressive form of stomach cancer or a less aggressive lymphoma.  All tests have been inconclusive.  This week, nearly two months since Mother’s Day weekend, he will have a surgical procedure that could involve removal of his stomach, which would come with great risk.

My dad has already had the “if I don’t make it through surgery” conversation with my sister.

These are excruciating moments.

And so, we will pile the kids into a rented minivan and drive 9 hours because we want them to see their Grandpa before surgery.  Although he is already, physically, a shell of himself – having lost way too much weight recently – they need to see him and hug him and tell him they love him.

September will mark 49 years of marriage for these two.  In June, we moved them onto separate floors of a senior living community.  Mom is on the Memory Care unit on the third floor, and Dad has a place in Assisted Living, on the second floor.  This all hits a little too close to the lyrics of “Where’ve You Been?” by Kathy Mattea.  I used to love that song.

If there is a point to this post – aside from allowing me to put my thoughts into writing – I suppose it is simply to cherish each day.  Thank God for the people in your life who love you, and tell them, often, what they mean to you.

Life is short.  Pray hard.  Love deeply.

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~ by suitenectar on July 9, 2014.

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