Colleen looked at the pills in their little foil tomb, so innocent! she knew that she should take them but really couldn’t afford the inconvenience of another melt down like yesterday afternoons tears, the first shed in such a long long time and they’d come as a complete surprise!
She’d tried hard to remember the last time she’d cried and truly couldn’t recall… Not that she hadn’t had anything to cry about, the last year had been awful.
The news that her vibrant, bossy, sturdy, funny, stubborn, loving, invincible Mother did have Cancer and that it wasn’t something that only happened to other people, it was happening to them right now and they weren’t bloody ready, had cast a long shadow.
Her Mother had tried to keep it a secret at first and insisted going to the doctors appointments by herself, Colleen had agreed reluctantly to take a back seat knowing that her Mother was trying as always to shield her from pain, but Colleen figured it was better to share the load and be fully informed even about the nasty stuff, still it was a few weeks into her 6 week of treatment that her Mother finally relented and allowed Colleen to accompany her to the hospital.
The radiotherapy treatment was a real eye-opener, Colleen just hadn’t realised that it was so intense, and every day bar from weekends whether your feeling crappy or not.
How did people cope? Colleen used to discreetly look around the waiting room and wonder to herself.
Her Mother had made some new friends from when she’d had a few weeks going by herself, they were all so warm and concerned and kind to her, that she took a step back and tried to see her as a stranger, Yep she looked really sick and frail and old.
She’d had a gastric nasal tube inserted because the radiotherapy was targeting her tongue and neck, so had of course lost a lot of weight and was on a liquid only diet. eventually she was unable to speak, and getting increasingly frustrated, mainly because Colleen’s Father, already a bit deaf at the best of times, just couldn’t understand her.
Colleen had tried to employ some technology with the iPad, but her Mother wasn’t up for learning anything new, she was too fed up and weary, so she resorted to making her a bitstrips avatar (you can make them to resemble an individual) Colleen’s Mother helped design it, and Colleen couldn’t help but notice that it looked particularly glam!!! she saved the images that she thought would be most useful and then uploaded them to a free photo printing app, the resulting delivery was approximately 40 Mother design flash cards,
Two thumbs the F*@k UP!
Although the cards covered all bases such as Hello, Goodbye, Yes please, No thank you, Sickness and Mood. She got the most use out of one that bore the legend “Two thumbs the F*@k up!” Colleen and the rest of the family explained that it wasn’t a term of gratitude, but Colleen had a sneaky feeling that she already knew…
Colleen arrived at her Mothers House, she was sat in the chair waiting for her, she was wearing her red boots, new jeans and a top that Colleen had given her that fitted perfectly, She smiled at Colleen, “shall we go to Boots first, then Poundland?” “Yes” said Colleen “If you’ve had your dinner”?
Turned a corner
Colleen’s Mother had turned a corner in the last couple of weeks, after months of worry and pain and healing and thinness and not being able to eat because of the dry mouth and nausea, sat in the chair, not wanting to go anywhere incase she saw the neighbours because she thought she looked a mess. Colleen had stepped in, she’d taken to visiting her Mother every day despite the insistence that she didn’t want to be a nuisance. devised an eating regime with the My Fitness Pal App that would actually put weight on, She’d taken her Mother for a short walk everyday and they’d talked and laughed and reconnected.
Together they’d set a goal after seeing the weight going back on, that for Dads 82nd birthday she would put her new (size 14) glad rags on and she would go with him to their local pub, she would meet all her old friends there and she would start to live her life again. that was last weekend and a great success it had been too, at the cancer clinic they had been surprised and pleased with her weight gain, and noticed her new sparkle.
Meet the Parents
Colleen began to realise that yesterdays tears may have been gratitude and relief.