Bad News…

Found out yesterday that my step-mom has lung cancer. It seems her breast cancer has come back with a vengeance, but has now decided to attack her lungs.

She has not been given a good prognosis. In fact, she has been given a year with chemotherapy. It’s possible that she could live longer, but it’s not likely.

My step-mom is a special lady. You see, I find myself putting the qualifier “step” in front of “mom”, but the reality is that she was my mom. I called her mom and though we didn’t always see eye to eye, we eventually accepted each other as family. Strange how bonds can form from the least likely links.

It’s important to note that I didn’t have a “normal” childhood. My father stole me from my mother when I was very young, and so I never had contact with my mother (we eventually reunited when I was 25). My father was and is a merchant seaman. He works on large ships as a marine electrician. What that meant for me was that I basically grew up with whomever was his current wife or whomever he was paying to take care of me at the time.

My current step-mom married my dad when I was 14. (I say current because she is, in fact, my third step-mom and my seventh caretaker.) As you can imagine it was a turbulent time for me. It was made all the more turbulent when my father was forced to move to Brazil because of a legal matter. So at the age of 15 I was without any blood relatives living near me. It was just me, my step-mom, and my step-sister. I lived there until I left for Orlando seven years later. Seems like a lifetime ago.

So my step-mom is dying. She is still cheerful and somehow still slips a few jokes into conversation. Like I said… she’s a special lady. And people wonder where I get my jovial manner. 😉

Now I have to find out how work will accommodate me leaving for an extended period of time if that becomes necessary. I should be able to telecommute from anywhere. There aren’t any technical hurdles that I can’t overcome. It just depends on how much my boss is willing too bend company policy.

11 thoughts on “Bad News…”

  1. This is bad news, but I’ll be thinking of the two of you, of course. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I owe your stepmom much love for letting us hang out at her house and indulge in all our “satanic” hobbies when my mom wouldn’t let us!

  2. That’s OK… it’s one of those situations that they don’t teach us about in school. Heck… they don’t teach us about this at home either.

    I’ve never been good at consoling people. Then again… I’m thankful that I haven’t been forced to learn how to be good at it. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if it was filled with that amount of tragedy. God… it must be hard to work in a hospital and see people die every day.

  3. It was hard listening to my mom’s day at work, forget working there.

    There was once that a group of marines were doing some tree clearing. A tree fell on one of the marines. He was dead and didn’t know it. It had crushed all of his insides. He stayed “alive” until they moved the tree.

    Or the young marine whose heart tore. His friends car needed a push to get it started, and three of them got out and gave it a push. A few minutes later one of them passed out. They rushed him to the emergency room. His heart had torn… he bled to death on the inside.

    Everyday she had 3 and 4 stories like that.

    It’s horrible. 🙁 The worst were children.

    But yes. I know how to give hugs, let someone cry on my shoulder. But ya know? It isn’t time for you to mourn yet. It *is* time, I think, to go and enjoy her company and help her enjoy the rest of her life.

    So uh, yeah.

  4. “It *is* time, I think, to go and enjoy her company and help her enjoy the rest of her life.”

    Exactly… and that’s just what I plan on doing. 🙂

  5. Give her a hug from a total stranger for me? 🙂 And tell her to give you one for me too. 😉

  6. I’ll second that. But then again, there’s really nothing to be said, other than something like, “Man, that’s the suck.” Which you said!

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