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The Absence

It would be easy to say the absence was due to my ADHD. (Let's face it, that IS a thing that happens.) Unfortunately, my absence was due to my mother having chemotherapy and multiple surgeries over the past six months as cancer treatments. Before I go into any detail, I want to assure you that she is now okay and currently cancer-free.

The day after my last post on July 11, 2023, I called my mom because it was my birthday (July 12) and I always send her flowers or some small trinket to thank her for the gift of my life. (After all, she was the one who did all the work, and that with me in a frank-breach position to boot -- ass first, in case you're wondering what the term means.) My mom and I are very close, so we talk frequently; on this day I called her and we talked for a few minutes, she wished me a happy birthday, and then, after a lot of hesitation, I finally said, "Spill," and she said, "So I have a large cancerous mass in my bladder." Happy birthday to me.

In late August, she underwent the first surgery to remove the mass, where her doctors discovered the mass was far larger than what they saw in the imaging. Pathology said it was a "fast" cancer. She bounced back fairly quickly, and shortly after that, in early September, she started chemo, which lasted eight rounds in a two-weeks on, one-week off fashion until she finished the entire course. (She did not lose her hair.) She ran her chemo course on schedule until early-November, due to her needing to be off chemo for at least six weeks before her cystectomy (bladder-removal surgery).

In mid-December, she had the cystectomy. Her doctors said that the cancer had already started forming again, but did not show any metastasizing to elsewhere in her body, thank God. They said she should bounce back from surgery in about 8-12 days. I took two weeks off starting at day eight, when she was projected to leave hospital.

Three and a half weeks after surgery, she was still in hospital, unable to keep anything down, including water, and was still incredibly weak and fatigued. Instead of caring for her post-op at home, I spent my two weeks in the hospital with her, keeping her company while she was awake, reading a book while she slept, and repeating this process every day for the full two weeks, including the weekends.

They started an NG tube, which goes up the nose and down into the abdomen, in order to pump out extra fluids, while also putting in a feeding tube so she could get at least some nutrients. It didn't stop her from losing fifty pounds.

Physical therapy was hardest on her. She had no strength to do much in the way of multiple daily walks down the hallway, and fatigued easily. After nearly four weeks in hospital, she was discharged to an in-patient physical rehabilitation facility. After a few days there, she was finally discharged to go home, where she has slowly been gaining her strength and appeitite back.

It was an extremely difficult time for our family, and between working 8+ hour days five days+ a week and caring for her, I was too exhausted to post here or do any sort of creative writing, for which I offer my deepest apologies.

So my mom is finally on the mend, and I'm trying to ease my way back into a regular writing habit, both here and working on some of my personal projects. (I still have those two novels half-written that need finishing.)

My next post will be up soon and deal more with my neuro-spiciness. (Yes, ADHD, I'm talking about you.) So with that, I bid you adieu.


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