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Cancer - Journal of Omnifarious

Mar. 31st, 2004

10:40 pm - Cancer

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A post in ethel's journal made me realize that I should probably say something about my Mom.

My mom has had cancer now for several years. It started as arthritis. They gave her a powerful drug for her arthritis, and like all such drugs, it mucked with her immune system. This one mucked with it in such a way, that some white blood cells mutated and started running wild. She was diagnosed with lymphoma after going to the doctor about pains that she'd never had before.

They put her on chemotherapy designed to kill off her immune system. She had to take a long leave from work in order to do this. Since my half-sister at the time worked for the state, along with my mom, she was allowed by a state program to give her vacation time to my mom. So, my mom was able to keep her job and her paycheck and her insurance.

I suspect though, that they would've found a way regardless. My mom (despite being an early fan of GW Bush) is an extremely bright, talented and capable woman. Despite being an administrative assistant, she is probably more valuable to her community college than any of the administrators or professors. I think some of them realize this. I think they would've found a way.

The chemotherapy initially appeared to work. But, I recently learned that the lymphoma has come back. They're pulling out the big guns now. They're going for stem-cell replacement therapy.

I know about that treatment, and it's impressively intricate. They take stem cells from your bone marrow, then they grow the healthy ones in culture. In the meantime, they give you some extremely nasty chemotherapy that even reaches into your bone marrow to kill off all of your stem cells. No more white blood cells. Nor more red. The means by which your body creates them is destroyed. Then, they re-implant the healthy ones they've been growing in culture. With any luck, you will no longer have lymphoma.

I'm worried about my mom. But, there's a rift between us right now that I'm not sure if ever can be healed. So, most of my worrying is done from afar. Since that's hard, I mostly just don't think about it a lot.

Because I think so much of my mom though, I want to share some of what she's created with you. Among other things, she's a talented artist. She's worked in clay, she's worked on canvas, and more recently, she's worked with textiles. I have some samples of her artwork that I took 3 years or so ago, when I last visited.

So, be nice to my server. These pictures are big, and I don't have infinite bandwidth:

These two are her rendition of the pink receptionist bug from Douglas Adams' Restaurant At the End of the Universe
A cute pottery pink cat my mom made. She had a bunch of these in different colors with somewhat different decorations.
A recent project, a wall hanging that she did that now is on the wall of the college president's office
A series of pictures panning along a shelf of my mom's pottery
A marvelous painting, inspired by the work of Paul Klee, but uniquely my mom's. My mom has some more original work as paintings, but she often studied and improved her style by trying on the styles of other artists.

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Current Mood: [mood icon] anxious


[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2004 11:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the prod. I am still bemused by a parent that would actually create something D. Addams would envision. Next time I attend Geek bowling I will hoist one for you. Hope seattle is treating you well.
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[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2004 06:49 am (UTC)
This is often the fear of my mother...

My mother and my grandmother had a fairly huge argument sometime back, last August or so. My older brother had been staying with my grandmother and she let him completely go to waste (as you may have heard) and he was into drugs and stuff, and it happened right under my grandmother's eyes.

Well, my mother didnt think that she would be able to forgive my grandmother. And my grandmother's not a healthy woman. She's got CPOD or something like that.. some breathing problem, and she's only got one lung (from pneumonia). Well, my mother didnt think that she would be able to ever talk to her again. My mom was afraid that my grandmother would pass on before she could explain to her her feelings and how much she means to her. But one day, she just called her and just told her everything and how that she will always love her. Maybe you should just do that. Just call her and talk to her, or just comfort her or something. Maybe you could be there when she's in the hospital. I dont know exactly what your situation is, but the bond between mother and child is usually very strong.
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Date:April 1st, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)

Nice painting

I really liked your mom's Klee-inspired painting. I am sorry to hear that she is battling cancer. Have you been in touch with her at all recently?
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[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Nice painting


Just a little. An email once a month or so.

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[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
wow. that painting was magnificent! she's so talented. i hope everything gets better :) just remember im here if u ever need to talk or anything. got that buddy?
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Date:April 8th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)

Your Mum

Hi Omni,
just a quick reply to your lj entry. I am saddened to hear the news of your mum's lymphoma and the point that you two are estranged at the moment - that must make this all the more difficult for you :(. Thankyou for sharing her artwork, it's all highly original stuff as I am sure you know. I particularly like the wall hanging and the last picture, amazing stuff, so talented. I always thought that you were on the artistic side, particularly with writing I have observed, so now I know where that comes from.

Take good care of yourself, I hope that yours and your mothers relationship improves and that you are able to communicate more freely together soon,
Blessed Be,
Sharlot xxx.
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