Cancer is a surreal creature. It is sort of like a bus ride, and it doesn’t matter how or why you end up on the bus. Once you are there, you are along for the ride until the end, no matter what that end might be. Some days the ride is smooth, the weather is clear and you might even enjoy the scenery out the windows. Other days, the bus seems to hit every pothole in the road, everything is stormy, and you don’t even want to open your eyes to look around.
We went to the doctor today. On our last visit, he was all doom and gloom, talking about how much time my mother-in-law might have left, and how she would have to make a decision about whether or not she would want to resume chemotherapy treatments. We spent five weeks agonizing over what to do, even through my father-in-law’s death, knowing that today would come and the answer would be expected. Despite all the time and effort we put into preparing for that moment, none of us were ready for what happened next.
The doc came in, took one look at my mother-in-law, and began marvelling about how well she looks and how strong she looks and how well she is recovering from her broken hip. He then went on to say how much he wants her to resume her treatments, even though he wasn’t going to do anything today due to a minor bacterial infection she currently has. We asked about not doing treatment anymore, and he responded that not doing treatment wasn’t even an option at this time. Same thing when we asked about getting Hospice involved.
Ironically, the doctor never seemed to notice how relieved my mother-in-law was when he told her she would not be getting a treatment today. She hasn’t gotten to the place where she can come right out and admit it, but she spent most of the summer telling anyone that would listen how she hoped they wouldn’t make her do any more treatments. The problem is that, on the one hand, she doesn’t want to die (who does?) but on the other, she doesn’t want to deal with all the side effects from the chemo again. For the time being, it seems as though the decision is being taken out of her hands, which is probably the most relief of all for her. Not having to decide is the most desirable choice for her.
So, for now, we will stay on the bus and keep looking out the windows. Odds are that we will see some dark clouds ahead and the road will get rough again, but for right now it’s blue skies and easy going. No matter what the journey brings, for now, we will continue the ride.
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