Last year at about this time, my mother was diagnosed with cancer.  A rare cancer.  Synovial Sarcoma.  She had been misdiagnosed for months prior to the actual Finding Out It Was Cancer.

She had the tumor removed, did the chemo, and then we all took turns driving her an hour away for radiation every day for 32 days.  We did not mind.  This will make her better.  We knew it.

My mother lost her hair.  She also lost her Self, her Health and her Sense of Humor. But she got well.

They told my mother that this was an agressive cancer, and they can’t tell where it came from.  There also isn’t that much research done on it, as it is so very rare.  Its a Wait and See game we play.  We’ve played; we are playing.

She did get well.  Back to normal for a while.  Back to shopping and Christmas and shopping.  Back to lunches and brunches.  Back to having hair.   Back to Laughing.  Also, doctor appointments every three weeks, then six, then six months.  Back to Health.

Then I remember shopping with her one day and she just couldn’t breath.  We had to sit down and rest.  And, I know you do not know my mother, but she is a shopping fool.  Rest?  Ha!  Resting’s for sissies.  But, there we were.  Sitting on a bench out side of The Children’s Place, talking about how she is so tired.  She is not even fifty!

Family doctor appointments happen.  They say it’s allergies and they tell her to get some Claritin.  She does.  For months.  And, then one day, she cannot breath and I tell my dad and sister She MUST go to emergency.  They kept her there for two weeks as we watched her health fade; as the tumor on her heart grew and cut off her entire left ventricle. 

There is nothing we can do, they say and they send us to The Big Hospital, where she had been the First Time.  And, for two weeks we sat there.  They don’t know what to do.

They did decide, after all, to operate.  To get this thing off of her heart.  And, they did.  And, immediately she was fine.  Ish.

Follow up appointments show three minute tumors in her lungs.  So, another round of chemo it is.  But, my mother says, if it makes her feel like before, she will quit it.  Because there are only going to be more tumors and more tumors.

She’s had three treatments and she’s done with it.  She quit it today.  No more, she says.  Quality of Life over Quantity of Life.

But, only now?  This is selfish, I know:  I feel like she’s quit me.