Monday, June 05, 2006

What a mindfuck.

Today was for lack of a better term...a mindfuck. I spent most of the day at the hospital being strong for my dad and spending quality time with my mom while she is in that medical hellhole. You see, my mother has cancer. First diagnosed as a breast cancer in 1994, it has grown and festered in her body despite two mastectomies and several rounds of chemotherapy. As much as I cry and pray that her doctors will say 'remission' again, I have a feeling in my soul that this is the final round of a 12 year battle.

At this point, it has spread to several vital organs and is being a stubborn little bitch...not responding to any of the therapy they throw at it. After having to take my mother to the emergency room for the 3rd time in a month, she has been readmitted. While preparing to clear the fluid from her lungs (once again), they discovered one of her lungs had collapsed. After a mini-emergency, stability was restored. This all happened while I was on my way to the hospital to visit.

As I walked into her cramped hospital room, the shit hit the fan and the other shoe dropped. After seeing the IV Bags, the morphine drip, and the not one but two drains placed in her back to remove lung fluid, it hit me. My mother, the ridiculously stubborn, California raised but Southern bred, will cut a bitch in a quick minute for messing with one of her babies, sometimes harsh but always loving, survivor of raising 4 hard-headed sons, is going to die. Most likely before the age of fifty-five.

When she opened her eyes and motioned me to her side, I almost didn't want to go. I knew what was coming. My father, mother, and I had been tiptoeing over the topic ever since I got accepted to college.

Mom: Come here son.

Me: I'm here mom.

Mom: You know this isn't looking good for me, right?

Me: Mom, now is not the time to be thinking like that. You've gotta fight.

Mom: I am baby, but I'm getting tired of this shit. I don't know how much more I can take.

Me: What are you saying?

Mom: I'm saying that I'm about ready to go. You know it, and I know it.

Me: Shit.....

Mom: I know me and your daddy are always telling you this, but now it's getting serious. We want you to be the leader in this family. We have known since you were a little boy that you were gonna be the one. I want you to be ready once the time comes...hell, it's already here.

Me:......

Mom: Yeah, yeah, I know...you're the youngest, blah blah blah. But let's keep it real. Of all your brothers and sisters, you have your shit the most together. We trust your judgment. We know that you will conduct matters in our best interest and not get greedy. And we know that you're not afraid to beat the hell out of anyone who tries to act a fool when we're out of the picture, even if it's family.

Me: *chuckling*. Yeah, Ma. You know how I do it.

Mom: You damn right, baby. We already put your name on all the papers and policies, but I want to know if you're ok with this. We've never wanted to force anything on you, but you saw what happened when your Momma Doonie passed. We don't want the same thing happening with our babies.

Me: Yes, I know. And I've been expecting this. I've thought about it, and I've prayed on it. God has told me there's a reason why he's given me the strength to deal with all the crazy ass people in this family...it is my job to keep the family afloat. I'm ok with it. I'll be here.

Mom: Thank you son. I knew you wouldn't let me down.

Dad: We are so proud of the man you have become.

Me: Don't get it twisted though....i'm not doing all this crap alone.

Mom: You'd be a damn fool if you did *cackling*. Of course your brothers and Tamy will have to do their parts, but you gotta be the one to stay on them.

Me: Oh joy...this is going to be fun...

Mom: Yeah, really. Ok i'm done talking about this. I'm hungry.

So yeah, that was the first mindfuck. The second one happened when my Dad and I got back home. He pulled me to the side and said:

"I don't want to scare you any more than you already are, but I'm not taking this very well. I can't sleep, i'm hardly eating, and my anxiety pills ain't working. I honestly don't know what's going to happen to me when your mother passes away. That woman means everything to me, and I don't see myself living very well without her here. I'm not going to do something stupid or anything. I'm just saying that I'm gonna be real fucked up when this all happens. I'm really going to need to you be strong for me and help me out, because I'm not going to be worth much."

At this point, I'm in tears. I'm so touched by how much love is there between the two of them, but I'm also really scared. My dad is a very emotional man, and he doesn't take death of loved ones very well. He lost his best friend and his father within 2 months, and he was a mess. I take his words to heart because I know he wouldn't be telling me this unless he knew it was going to be BAD for him. As much as I love my dad for being so open and honest with his emotions, I kinda wish he could control them just a little bit. But hey, that's probably why he had so many damn children...he raised the hell outta us, and now when he is weak we are to pick him up.

And for the icing on the cake...any form of mindfuck would not be complete without a little bit of irony. I got a message from my internship coordinator today, detailing my internship assignment. Half of my internship will focus on worksite fitness promotion, and the other half with be assisting in a Cancer screening, prevention, and awareness intervention for African American women. Ain't that about a bitch??? I tell ya, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Here I am preparing to work on a study that will potentially save the lives of hundreds of Black women, while my own mother is losing a battle to cancer. Messy, I tell you. Just plain messy.

But what can you do? I'll tell you one thing. After having to deal with all the health related problems and drama that have plagued so many people close to me, I am SOOO motivated to work the hell outta of this internship and do all I can to get folks educated and active so they will not have to one day endure the hell that my family and I have gone through. That's what up.

If any of you are reading this, pray for a brotha. Even with all that is going on, my head is still high and my mood is positive. But I know at some point, all of this will get to me and I will have to take a break and be a hot emotional mess for a while. I just hope that somebody will be there to pick me up.

-J.

3 comments:

Quentin Ergane said...

*hugs you tightly*

Today was supposed to be a motherfucker... well, the 5th was.

But if they have faith in you, that kinda means you have to, too.

*hugs you*

No4real4real said...

Wow man I wish I knew you like that because I would so loved to speak to you but I guess I will try to send my blessing through this blog. Yo man I say good luck to you. I just lost my grandmother to cancer and it was back and forth for years but when it came it went quick. I swear no longer looked like herself. I have to admit that I was not close to her as I am my mother's mom but that was my girl nonetheless. Her death did put a lot of things into perspective especially with my mother's parents. My other grandmother has her bouts too. They have already told me I would be the one they relie on to handle their affairs. That is a huge task man. So I say handle everything with stride and know your mother will be in a better place. Stay strong for your father. I know you are going to say who is going to stay strong for you. That you will have to find out so you have someone to lean on too because we all need the help. Good luck with everything. You are in my prayers!!!!

Double 'A' Ron said...

this is touching man... stay strong.