It Can Be Over In An Instant

My dad called me last night to tell me how mom’s operation went (for those unaware, the cancer was spreading so rapidly down her leg that the doctors decided to insert a metal rod from her femur all the way to her calf).  Turns out both mom and dad had a pretty bad day.

Dad was up at 2:30am so he could follow the ambulance on its 2-hour drive to Halifax, NS (better hospital there).  From about 5:45am until 10:30am there was nobody around that could authorize pain medication…so mom was in a pretty bad state.  She didn’t go into the operating table until almost noon…so her morning was a long one.

Turns out that she’ll end up meeting a pain specialist who will be able to relieve her pain and (hopefully) provide her something that doesn’t have the horrendous side effects that she’s been suffering through (lack of memory, lack of muscle strength, disorientation, etc.).  In addition, she’ll also be meeting with a spinal cord specialist…the tumors are right on her vertebrae and it’s unknown whether or not they’ll end up paralyzing her.

So dad was pretty drained by the time her operation started.  He told me it was going to be about three hours and then another two in recovery before he could see her.  He had a book that Sunshine & I gave him for Christmas and he settled in for the afternoon.

When he called me he told me how bad the operation went.

Apparently, there were three moments where the doctors almost lost my mom on the operation table.  She had to have five units of blood pumped back into her and was barely stabilized once the operation was over.  In addition, parts of the bone in her leg “were mush” from where the cancer had attacked it. The doctor said that he had never seen anything like that before.

They were going to keep her isolated overnight and monitor her very closely.

My dad went back up this morning (yet another 4-hour round trip) and isn’t quite sure what to expect.  He was going to call me later in the day to let me know how she’s doing.

But to know that we almost lost her on the operating table really hit me.  Life can be over in an instant. Life is fickle like that.  So at the end of the day, it’s vitally important to tell the people you love just how much you love them.  It’s important to smile and to take each day as a great day to be alive.

You just never know what tomorrow may bring.


11 thoughts on “It Can Be Over In An Instant

  1. I’m so sorry to hear your mom is having such a tough time – and that you are, too. It breaks my heart. I almost lost my mom a few years ago to illness, and with her compromised immune system we never really know if the next cold or flu could be her last. It’s terrifying to think you might lose your parent. I got teary reading your post (and the one about New Year’s) because I can honestly say I know how that feels. Trying to raise kids, be in a relationship AND cope with a sick loved one is overwhelming – even when we don’t think it is. Sending love, strength, and plenty of hugs. Hang in there.

  2. Wow. This one really hit me. I am so sorry, I can just imagine what you are going through and it makes my heart sad. My prayers go out to you, as always.

  3. I just wanted to, again, thank everybody for their very kind comments. It’s been a tough week…not just because my mom has cancer but because she’s been suffering. That’s gotta be the toughest part. When she suffers, my dad suffers, and I suffer knowing of their pain. So to read thoughtful and kind messages from good people really helps me get through.

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