There's a term that cancer battlers use for the anxiety that comes with waiting for scan results. Scanxiety.
I'm not even the one with cancer but I can relate to this term wholeheartedly.
Mum had a CT scan 2 weeks ago to see if the melanoma had spread to the rest of her body, an MRI on her brain to track any growth there. She then had a wonderful week long holiday in the snow with her good friends and her husband.
So the results were lingering on all of our minds the whole time. Actually, I say lingering but if I am honest, it is more like taking over. It is extremely difficult to distract yourself when you are well aware that someone out there is one step closer to knowing the fate of the person who gave you life.
You get on with the things you need to but find you forget a lot, you muck up a lot, your sleep is disrupted, your tolerance and patience is a lot shorter than usual.
The waiting has to be one of the worst parts about this whole journey with Mum and I'm sure others in a similar position would agree.
I can't even imagine how Mum feels. She's so strong. She's so realistic. She is encouraging towards us and overall she is patient. She trusts that things will happen how and when they are supposed to. I feel sorry for her sometimes that she still feels the everlong need to protect her children from hurt and raw emotion.
She tries her darn best but unfortunately nothing can stop our pain when facing the prospect that we may lose our mum sooner than we bargained for.
The good news is, the cancer has not spread anywhere else in her body. The tumour in her lung has no grown.
The bad news is, the brain tumour has increased in size. It is now around 3cm.
Because the cancer is not in the rest of her body, they are offering surgery again to buy her more time. She is going to continue her GCMaf treatment at home (GCMaf is a protein that healthy people produce naturally. Cancer patients do not produce it and the treatment is a series of daily injections into her head of the GCMaf protein. It is very difficult to break through the blood/brain barrier with any treatment, but GCMaf has a wonderful success rate of curing cancer in other parts of the body), as well as exploring other options.
We are fairly certain that Mum will opt for surgery again.
It's one thing to be accepting that this is Mum's path in life, this is her journey, just as we all travel our own. But it's another entirely to actually watch her go through it. And that's what it is - watching her. We are all here for her and always will be, but ultimately SHE is the one who is walking the beaten track.
We love you, Mum. Every single one of us. I thank my lucky stars for you every day, and I wish with all I have that you didn't have to endure this endless waiting game. Xo