We are learning a new language in our family, and it’s not one we wanted to learn. We are learning the language of cancer.
My mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has “poorly differentiated ductal carcinoma,” and a bilateral mastectomy scheduled for next week. It’s Grade 3, and they think Stage 1, but they will find out for sure after the surgery. Then they will decide the next steps: chemo, radiation, etc. Everyone is optimistic for a full recovery.
Don’t know what that means? Consider yourself lucky. You haven’t had to learn this language yet.
We live halfway across the country, so it’s been a chain of conversations and bits and pieces of information on the phone, through my husband, and Facebook, of all places. I’ve been doing some research on the web to understand what the words mean, but what I really want to know is what I can do.
So that’s why is sharing this here, because I could use your advice. For those of you who have been through this, who have learned this language already because of friends or family or your own experience… What can we do? How can we help, from 1500 miles away? Any suggestions or ideas? Because I just want to be there to give a hug, to bring a casserole, to clean the bathroom. And we are too far away.
My husband is going to be there with his family for her surgery next week, and I’m sure there will be more trips in the coming months. I’m so glad we are no longer in Italy, because I can’t imagine being that far away. But Oregon to Colorado still seems far, too far.
And I just want to know what to do.