My parents arrived last Wednesday for a week long visit, most likely my mom's last. She is suddenly going downhill so quickly that even my dad has been left somewhat stunned.
The worse she gets the more I find myself pulling away, and I truly hate myself for it. I so badly want to have a few more good laughs, a few more real moments, but what she needs is a daughter who can listen endlessly to her every grievance. I wish I could just be there for her and listen, but every prick and every jab drives me right to the edge. When J is around I simply get up and leave the room when I can't take it anymore.
Eight weeks ago, when it was time to say goodbye at the airport after Olive's birthday, she couldn't stop hissing in my ear about how much she hates my dad long enough to say goodbye, or tell me she loves me. I finally took her on like I would a tantrumming three year old. "Mom, I know you're mad. I understand your anger. But I love you, and I'm going to miss you." It didn't work.
I'm 31 years old, with nearly 30 years of normal memories, yet this is all I can remember anymore. When I close my eyes I never see her once full head of hair or a smile, just my mom as she is today.
When they get back my mom will try 3 quick rounds of a different type of chemo, Ava.stin, which has a positive response rate of 40%. 20% of the 40% make it to a year. Last month it was given accelerated approval for patients with progressive disease despite treatment of other therapies, which is huge considering it is the first new drug approved for this type of cancer in more than a decade.
But honestly I'm pretty much out of hope.