A Call From Home

March 23, 2006

Last evening I had a call from my mother. She had been to her weekly chemotherapy appointment and wanted to give me an update on her condition. During the course of the appointment her doctor, who by all accounts seems like a caring and concerned individual, and whom my mother clearly trusts implicitly, asked her if she had informed her family about her condition and the fact that it is terminal. That she has isn't really the point, the point is that he wants to make her aware that time is running out for such things.

In February when the return of her cancer was discovered he indicated she would have perhaps two months to live untreated. Because of the treatments through out the last year her body no longer has the ability to recover from the rigors of a full treatment regimen. She has been able to have some treatments, mostly to provide her with some comfort, however she is on three pain medications now and they are increasing the dosage steadily to keep up with her needs.

We had a good conversation, some laughter, some tears, and a solid connection between mother and son. I must say that I am impressed by her courage and strength facing her own mortality. My plans are to be there again in two weeks but I am giving myself permission to go sooner if I feel I need. I've written a letter to her trying to sum up all that she has meant to me, and saying the final things I need to say. Mailing that today will be difficult as it is one more reminder of the awful truth bearing down on me and my family.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.