It’s been awfully quiet on the parental front. That’s never a good sign. Late last week I received a birthday card with a check from them. The morning of my birthday I had an email waiting from my father, on behalf of both of my parents. (I returned it late in the evening with a Happy Father’s Day.)
Then yesterday rolled around and BAM! I was in the middle of enjoying the first day of the kids being at camp. I had a massage, I was watching Scandal, and in the middle of an episode, my phone rang. It was blocked. I rarely answer blocked calls, but I did. It was my father. Who was obviously crying. I asked if he was ok.
He proceeded to tell me my mother was having a procedure to biopsy a mass on her lung. That she had been sick for a month and they did an MRI (or cat scan – I don’t remember.) He said it didn’t look good, that she may have to stay in the hospital and that it wasn’t an easy “surgery”. He used the word surgery. I told him to call or text me when she was out.
I sat at my desk feeling like I was kicked in the gut. I didn’t know how to feel. I didn’t know what to feel. My father texted me a bit later:
She will be home tonight. It is definitely cancer. Please make all contact to ME by phone or text.
In response, I sent a barrage of questions:
Cancer that they can remove?
Will she need chemo/radiation?
He simply told me that they need more tests before they have a treatment plan. My father is lucky he is connected at the hospital and can typically call in favors to get answers quickly. That was around 5pm.
I felt like shit. I felt lost. Getting Max healthy and figuring out when to see my mom and how to help, from a distance, became my focus. Hubs and Little One consulted and were very supportive. I cancelled my Birthday Girl’s Night Out and sulked.
At 8:30, I decided to be nice and call my father to see if my mother got home. I was also calling to tell him that I’d be down in the late morning. He told me not to come. That it wasn’t a good idea. That my mother didn’t want me there.
I was enraged. How dare he call me in the middle of a scheduled procedure. One that they’d known about for at least several days, tell me my mother had cancer and shut me down. I had been played. And in all fairness, Little One warned me that my father might be manipulating the situation. She was dead on. No pun intended.
I had the courage to say those things to him. That he opened the door. That he tried to get my goat. I asked him if he and my sister didn’t want me there or if my mother didn’t want me there. He couldn’t answer.
Truthfully, the joke is on them. Having my father and my sister take a medical “crisis” into their own hands is like having a 5 year old child with ADD take care of things. Unmedicated.
Sadly, the reality is I’m the one left alone – now with two sick children – to sit and wonder what the reality is.