Saturday, October 29, 2011

Running around with her hair on fire. Or at the very least, a pot holder

This post is kind of depressing and for that, I do apologize. So if you don't want to be bummed while you're laughing I suggest you go some place else and wait for my next post.

As you know, my mom has Stage 4 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. This is a cancer that starts in the milk ducts and metastizes into other parts of the body. Right now, its in her spinal column, her liver and her pelvis. She had a mastectomy last spring and started her second course of chemo in August after my niece got married. It sucks. Pretty much. We've been trying to have fun with it, but lately, I'm not really finding it humorous any more.

She's always been a little strange, my mom. I chalked it up to the fact that she's 39 years older than me so there's a huge generational gap. Over the last year, she's been forgetting things more and more, which I initially chalked up to age (she's 72), the fact she drinks martinis like prohibitions coming again, and what they call "Chemo Brain" where things get a little foggy. You'll have a conversation with her that she will forget you had the next day, and during that conversation, she'll tell you the same thing at a minimum of three times. My sister and I get so frustrated because this is a woman who knew what we were doing before we even thought about doing it. Now she keeps track on a calendar when she took a bath last. The other thing that really bugs is  you send her to the store with a list, and she doesn't come back with a fucking thing that was on it. One day I sent her for heavy cream and whole milk for mac & cheese. I got 1/2 and 1/2 and 2% milk. She said she read the list. Dad said she read the list. I figured she wasn't paying attention like usual. And of course she doesn't remember this incident.

So Wednesday night I get home from Nick's taekwondo class and had run out to check on FFB's boys. He was on a late flight home from Phoenix and I wanted to make sure they ate before he got home at 8:30. Mom had thrown some chicken nuggets in the toaster oven for Nick when I walked in the door. I was fixing noodles for Tyler and I started smelling something not right. My first instinct was to look around Nick who likes to make himself fart. No Nick, or Tyler who has the worst smelling gas of any little girl I know. I looked over at the toaster oven and it had smoke billowing out of it. "WHAT THE FUCK?" say I as I walk around and see FLAMES shooting out of the door to the toaster oven. I open the door and there is a crochet pot holder resting on the heating element. ON FIRE. ON FUCKING FIRE! 

So, add fireman to my long list of job duties while I live at home. Mom, for her part, got up from paying bills, looked at what was going on, shrugs her shoulders and initiates the following conversation:
"What happened Missy?"
"Mom, there was a pot holder on fire in the toaster oven! What are you doing?"
"I didn't put that in there. Did I?"
"Mom, holy shit, you are the one that put the nuggets in there!"
"Hmmm. I don't remember doing that."

She then turns around and proceeds to sit back at her desk to pay bills. My dad, who heard nothing because he's fucking deaf, yells up to her that Survivor is on. "OK. I'll be right down," she says. And sure as shit, she just gets up and plops her ass in her Lazy Boy leaving me standing in the kitchen with a smoldering pot holder, smoke wafting around me, and Cajun style nuggets.

So here it is three days later and I've discovered a few additional tidbits. My sister talked to her Thursday and was told to have a Happy New Year, mom said some weird random shit that my sister swears she was serious about, and that I'm a blabber mouth (DUH!). My dad mentioned that he frequently finds burners left on. And, mom still doesn't think what happened was a big deal. I've called her doctor and she goes in Monday for a CAT scan on her brain.

I told her I wanted to make sure it was still there,which made her laugh, and that was the point. Because really, I think that something else more sinister is going on up in that not-so-hairless-anymore head of hers.

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