My mother woke me up the other day when she got home from work—around midnight—on the verge of tears. I sat on the couch with her and listened to what was on her mind. She told me that her doctor had asked her a “strange question” during her check up the other day. She never revealed what it was. But she played a voicemail he sent the day before telling her he had done some research on her condition—lupus and one other I’m not too sure of—and drawn a relation between it and cancer of the ovaries. He also mentioned some irregularities in her urine, and other conclusions he had drawn. The cancer rate in his relationship was more than half of the women who have the condition develop this cancer and die.
"I’m not ready to die yet. I’m not afraid of dying, but I’m not ready to leave all of you. Your brother and sister are still so young. What would they do? How would they handle it?"
She kept saying this over and over, telling me she knew she would die of what she had, but just wanted some more time. She talked for two hours, and I listened. She mentioned wanting to quit her night job to spend more time with our family—to make up for lost time. She said a lot of things. I didn’t say much. And then she said we should both probably go to bed. And we did. At least I tried. I’m still trying to cope with it right now. I don’t know what to think. I just kicked in part of a cabinet door. All that pain and anger just coalesced in my foot. I don’t know what to think. And no one will listen to me the way I listened to her. So I just needed to get it out.