So in my family we have been dealt a low blow this past Sunday.
Here’s a rough breakdown of the lead up to this past Sunday
2014 – My mom’s younger sister, aged 44 at the time, was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Almost immediately had a mastectomy and chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. In 2015 she was cancer free and we had a huge family celebration in her honour.
2016 – My mom’s youngest sister, also aged 44 at time of diagnosis, is diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost immediately,May 2016, had a double mastectomy. She is cancer free and will not be having chemotherapy nor radiation therapy. Last Sunday, the family had a huge celebration in her honour. Unfortunately, we missed it as we live in Gauteng and had already decided and booked flights to Cape Town for 5 August. I was sad that I missed it but something was knawing at me that we should just stick to our original dates and go to Cape Town as planned on 5 Aug.
So earlier this year I had a mammogram and sonars to check if there is anything to be concerned about… Well there are some minor issues but it’ll be monitored very closely. The doctor suggested that someone in our family should do the genetic test for CANCER. Well let’s just say that if the test results are positive and we have the cancer gene well then it’s a matter of When and not IF you get cancer. Let me just say that medical aids DO NOT cover the test and its about R10 000….So the youngest sister was waiting for confirmation from her medical aid to see if they were willing to assist with any sort of payment for this test… WE WAIT patiently.
Back to the past weekend, my Gran aka MAMMA (I literally feel as though she is my “real” mother. Dude says that I am like her 7th child) has been on/off sick with flu then apparently gall stones. On Saturday we see my Gran and we were shocked to see that she did not look well. She had lost weight and she was just not looking like her old self. She laughed and joked with us for a few hours and eventually we left. On Sunday, we get the call that she is not well and will be taken to Casualties. So most of the family treks to the hospital to go see Mamma. (Bear in mind that we have a very very very big family. Security was taken aback that we ALL came to see the same person). We arrive to find her smiling smiling and all happy and bubbly in casualties. They do some tests and inform us that her liver is enlarged and is pushing against her lungs, which is causing difficulty breathing. Later, they discover a huge mass in her left breast and now suspect breast cancer. They run some more tests and think that it may have spread to the lungs… They have been doing tests ALL the time. We wait to hear the final results and what the way forward would be.
On Monday we visited Mamma in hospital and spend as much time as possible with her, given that we only had limited time and were only allowed in one at a time. I got a brief period to tell her that I love her. The hardest part was saying goodbye as we had to come back to Pretoria on Monday evening. I told her that once we have more clarity on this situation I will fly back to come see her.
Mamma is our go to person. She is the MATRIARCH of this family! She is So incredibly strong for all of us. She is happy and bubbly but I worry that none of us are there after visiting hours. None of us really sees what she is enduring. None of us knows what she is going through for as long as what I have been on this earth Mamma has always been smiling. (Hou altyd die blink kant bo – roughly translated into always keeping a brave and happy face) never letting it show if anything gets to her or gets her down.
I have been crying ALOT and as I sit here now I just can’t help myself… I have prayed and given this situation to GOD. As much as I want Mamma to make a full recovery, I don’t want her to go through any unnecessary trauma of surgeries etc…My biggest fear is her quality of life after surgery(ies)… I have seen what CANCER can do and it’s not what I want for Mamma. Mamma is the type of person who will be here the one day and gone the next. And everyone that knows her will know that that is how she wants to be remembered. All I want is for HER to make her OWN decision as to what she wants to do. This past weekend I saw that my family might not accept Mamma’s decision…and I worry that they will bully her into something that she did not want. It’s the hardest decision to just let go and let GOD be because we all want more time with a loved one but like I said it kills me to think of what quality of life she might have afterwards… Nothing has been finalised and no decisions have been made as yet.
I pray for my MAMMA…
This was a random image I found on Pinterest…