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The last two weeks have been the best two weeks in ages. As you can probably tell, I’ve been soaking up the holiday fun, watching movies, drinking, catching up with friends and having a blast. It’s also been two of the most difficult weeks of my life.

I got an email from my mom. She told me she has breast cancer.

When I got the email at the time, I completely broke down. I talked to her on the phone and she put on a brave face and told me that things would be okay. No one knew how bad things really were though. I was scared and frustrated because I didn’t know how to deal with the news and I couldn’t even see her. She told me to just get on with it. Don’t think about it. Just get on with life.

So I tried. I put up a mental block and got on with things. I couldn’t really dwell on it. It just made me crazy. But I felt I needed to talk to someone about it but I didn’t really know who. Or what to say.

My mom had an operation last Wednesday. And on it was on Wednesday that I got a call from Polly. And we had a fight. She was upset that I didn’t come to her to be consoled about my mom. I could tell she was really hurt by it. We exchanged words and she hung up. I cried after that. I was angry and nervous and tired of everything.

My dad called that evening and told me that after the operation, mom was real tired, but was recovering okay. They would run a series of tests and in a week, they would know what the situation was. That worked out to be the day I got back to Brunei.

On my last day in Perth, I did the rounds and saw as many people as I could before I left. I met Sarah at midday. We chatted about this guy she’s trying to hook up with and stuff. I chatted to Polly. Things are a little better between us now. We’re not fighting anymore.

Then I went over to Mcgees.

We were kinda hoping for a nice night in with some others but that kinda fell through and it just ended up the two of us. We went out for drinks and got to talkin’. Somewhere in all the talk, she shared with me, something difficult that she was going through that she couldn’t really talk to most people about. I felt touched that she thought I could be a good listener for her. She had it a lot tougher than I ever knew. And in Mcgee, I found someone that I could talk to as well. I got out a lot of what I had in my head for the last fortnight. It felt good to find someone to talk to. Real good.

I reluctantly left that night to go home and pack. I miss her already.

Yesterday, I arrived back in Brunei and talked with my parents. My mom got back from the hospital with the results of the tests. She sat me and my dad down and told us.

There are 5 types of cancer. 1 is the best case. An early detection. 2 is still pretty good. 3 is bad. 4 is real bad. And 5, is well, 5.

They removed from my mom, a 2.5cm lump. She was a 2. This means everything should be okay. But she’s going to need to do kemo and radiotherapy. Her hairs going to fall out (!) for a while. But its okay. It’ll grow back when everything is done. This whole process is going to take about six months. It’s going to be a long six months. But she should be fit for Christmas.

I feel a lot better now. My mom is a fighter. She’s strong. She’ll get through this. I know it.

Posted by Edo @ 08:20 PM AST [Link] [3 comments]

Replies: 3 comments

wow, thats really grounds, both of you guys i am so sorry, edo i hope you mom is well, best wishes to both of you parents and both of you

Posted by chris @ 07/11/2003 10:35 PM AST

Dear Anon,

Be assured, I’m not angry with God. Although I pray to him a lot these days, I don’t really ever ask why any of this happened. Just help for us to see this through. These last few days I’ve spent with my mother have been so comforting. It makes me happy to see that she’s not letting anything get her down. She stays positive. She’s so spirited. Full of courage.

Thanks for sharing your story with me. I wish you and your folks good fortune.


Posted by Edo @ 07/10/2003 10:47 PM AST

Dear Edo,

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in 8th grade. It was going to be her 32nd birthday in several days, when a malignant tumour about 3cm across was removed. The doctor at RIPAS decided for an immediate mastectomy – a removal of the breast and surrounding tissue. Dad readily agreed but Mom was obviously anxious about Dad losing attraction for her. The news shocked her, she hardly ate since hearing it. On her birthday she stared blankly ar her cake. We have no history of cancer so, “Why?”

They were the hardest days of our lives. It was the peak of a haze-engulfed Brunei. People were bragging about their stupid face masks while my family and I clung to Mom’s dear life. We told no-one of her situation. Mom figured people were going to do more harm than good by creating fierce rumours like destructive tabloids do. I remember fearing what she would become every successive day that I visited her after her operation. There was a container of blood at her bedside that was connected by a tube from her leaking wound. She had wilted from a beautiful, youthful woman to a pale and quickly-aging one. So we were alone; she was alone. Many questions boiled in my brain but I fought to ask them, afraid of their answers. The younger Malay woman in the bed opposite, one night, died instantly as her cancer shot straight to her heart. They tried but to no avail to get her back. She had 3 young ones.

We could not seek anybody’s comfort but God’s. I think God was wanting that anyway. He was going, Knock Knock “Have you forgotten what life is Really all about? Have you forgotten Me?” So we prayed – for nothing but a miracle. Then we heard news of our miracle…the cancer had not spread, despite a massive tumour. Nevertheless, Mom was going to receive chemotherapy every 6 months and have check-ups at the oncologist. Five years later, she’s reborn – fatter though, but certainly happier. My folks are going as strong as ever. They had bonded since. So I still have Mom, and I know in my heart she’ll still be here years from today. God had heard from the depths of our hearts, how much we needed her. You need your Mom still – it’s too damn early to let go. Please don’t be angry with God. Instead, thank Him that your mom had made an early detection.

This is reality and we have to be strong for our loved ones.

Posted by Anonymous @ 07/05/2003 07:49 PM AST

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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