Heads or Tails?

I should be walking into work right now. But I’m not. I’m just sitting in my car. Today is her last day of chemo for this course. Today is my blood test and genetic counseling appointment. I know what to expect and honestly nothing is going to happen today. Except I give my family history, they’ll give me some odds and then I’ll get my blood taken. But honestly I have no desire to leave my car. The sun is shining and country music is playing. It’s quite lovely.

**UPDATE** I did get out of my car and go to work. And now I’m just sitting at my desk waiting.  Waiting to go to this appointment.  This is literally the simplest thing and I won’t even be getting results today and I don’t even have cancer.  But when I went to my mom’s genetic counseling appointment with her the gene was a hypothetical.  We THOUGHT she had it based on her age when diagnosed with breast cancer and the fact that she had breast and ovarian.  But we didn’t KNOW…we didn’t know which BRCA gene.  And now we know.  So now they can give me very specific statistics based on this gene.  And it’s weird and my appointment is at the Cancer Institute because that’s where they had an opening and I don’t have cancer and I feel super dramatic but the whole thing is weird and strange and odd and weird.

**UPDATE** Everyone at the Cancer Institute was incredibly kind. The receptionist that checked me in asked how are you? And she was incredibly sincere when she asked. It was such a comfort. The genetic counselor explained everything really well. I have a 50% chance of getting the BRCA2 gene. If I have the gene mutation screening and surgical options were discussed in order to reduce my risk of getting breast and/or ovarian cancer.  It made me feel a lot better knowing I could be proactive about my health and that I can take control in some sort of way. So it’s a flip of a coin and in two weeks I will know.

TGIF

I’m sitting here at Au Bon Pain. Maroon 5 is playing over the speakers and I’m just in a daze. I thought I would feel different and I just feel weird. My mom has the BRCA2 mutation. I have looked up data on these mutations a million times over the past decade and she tells me this and my mind goes blank. My sister texts me asking what it means and I had to google it. I couldn’t remember other than its a mutation in BRCA2 and it increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer as well as a few others. And now I’m just sitting here listening to music starring into space. I literally feel nothing. But I will say this if you’re going to get one of the BRCA genes this is the better one statistically soooo yay?!

She Picked Him Up!

I got to drive her and sit with her during chemo today. It was nice to feel like I was doing something. I can’t take away her pain or make her cancer disappear but I can be there. My dad is funny because he is such a planner. He had been taking her to her treatments and he texted me in the morning giving me directions and her specific sandwich order.

Today is the end of Cycle 1. Six more chemo treatments before scans and a possible surgery. And yesterday my mom picked Julian up! It had probably been a little over a month since she got to hold that sweet boy and she even danced with him for a couple minutes. This gives me hope.

November 25th

I love Gilmore Girls. I love the cast of characters. I love that my mom, sister and I all share this love of the show. I love that my son knows the theme song and asks me to dance with him to it. I love that on a bad day I can turn that show on and go somewhere else for an hour. November 25th and the four part Gilmore Girls revival comes out. I have been looking forward to hearing that release date since they announced the revival. But when I watched the trailer yesterday a tear ran down my face and a little bit of fear came over me.

I was a planner and now I can’t plan anymore. I have to very literally take it one day at a time or it just seems incredibly overwhelming. Which I guess is a better way to live anyways. Really just taking everyday and appreciating it instead of looking forward to something in the future to bring joy.

Because I can’t imagine what life will be like in November. Good or bad. I can’t imagine the worst is behind us and have that taken away if the worst happens. So while I like the idea of being transported to Stars Hollow in November I simply can’t think about what that means for my reality.

Chemo

Tomorrow is the second chemo treatment. I’m nervous and scared and anxious and I feel like I could explode. I hate everything right now.

It’s frustrating not being able to do anything. We just keep buying her presents. If it brightens her day for just a second or she can look at it and think of us. All of this feels so helpless.

He’s Two

Today I told Julian his Mimi has cancer.  Julian has spent 5 days a week nearly every week with my mom since he was 8 weeks old. My sister has helped out a lot and there have been holidays and vacations in between. But for the most part a majority of his time during the work week has been spent with my mom. So when we found out she had cancer the thought of what am I going to tell Julian has been running through my head.

Next Tuesday she starts chemo. And I came to the realization that I would need to tell him something. Her hair will begin falling out in a couple weeks and he will ask why. I didn’t want to tell him she was sick because I didn’t want him to be scared if he gets sick. So I made the choice that I would tell him she has cancer. Because when you hear cancer and you are 2 you don’t really know what that means. So today a package came for her and he asked who the package was for. I told him it was for Mimi and he said why. I took a breath and said “well buddy because Mimi has cancer”. And that was that.

14 vs 29

When you are 14 and your mom gets a needle biopsy you stay home and watch your brother and sister. When you are 29 and your mom gets a needle biopsy the 3 of you sit in the waiting room with your dad.

Yesterday was the needle biopsy. We all gathered at the hospital and waited. We followed her from check-in station to check-in station like little ducklings and then we waited. I have to begin to expect the unexpected. They gave my dad a pager. They told him the procedure would take an hour. They said when the pager goes off someone will come get him so we can see her in recovery.

And then at 1:22 a doctor comes out and says “Mr. Kendig” and I feel like the wind has been knocked out. He sat next to my dad and told him the procedure went well and mom was fine. Which was a relief because nobody said anything about a doctor coming out and it had only been about 30 minutes. So I guess that’s life now. The feeling of complete and total panic when the slightest thing varies from what they tell us. And now we wait and hope it’s not worse than they originally said. 3-5 business days they say. So we will see about that.

I Don’t Blame God

It will be two weeks tomorrow since we found out. During those two weeks a lot of thoughts have ran through my head. But never once have I wondered why her or why our family. Some have told me God will carry us through this, others have said I can be angry with God. But I’m not. I’m not an overly religious person. We were raised Catholic but I don’t go to church anymore. I believe in God. I absolutely do but I can’t for one second think God has anything to do with this.

When I think of God I think of heaven. I think of my grandparents in heaven and at peace. I don’t pray for a miracle. I pray for strength. I pray for strength for my mom and all of us as this unfolds. And if the worst thing happens I have to believe that she will be welcomed into heaven and join the loved ones we have lost already. Because if I don’t have that than what’s the point in all of this.

Misery Loves Company

A long time ago my mom suggested watching a sad movie when I was upset.  I don’t remember what she exactly said but the idea was to cry with the movie to get it all out. I’ve taken that advice but used it in a different way lately. My job can be isolating. There’s small talk here and there but I work solo and I listen to shows or music on my phone while I work. 

I had started binge watching Grey’s Anatomy again a few weeks ago. When I told my sister this her response was something along the lines of it being a bad idea. But I don’t see it that way. Meredith Grey is all ‘dark and twisty’. And currently that’s how I feel. So while I’m surrounded by people chatting about their weekend plans or complaining about the cable company I can just listen to Grey’s and feel a little less alone during the workday.

You Have Each Other

My brother and I were the first to show up to the hospital the day we found out. We each received a strange text from my dad. Mine said “what time are you coming to the hospital?”. His said “mom wants you to come visit”.  I picked up my brother and we headed to the hospital. My sister was playing volleyball, she would arrive later.

On the drive there we made small talk and I told him I had a bad feeling that this would be one of those moments that our lives would never be the same. We arrived at the hospital and tried to hunt down the wing she was in. When we got into her room she asked us to sit down and told us it was ovarian. And then she told us “You have each other. This is why I had the three of you, so you could take care of each other”.

Our entire lives she has raised us to be kind to one another and love each other. It didn’t always work and we’ve had our crazy fights. But I don’t know many brothers that tell their sisters I love you. But my brother does.  So we have each other and that’s how we will get through all of this.