Thursday, 18 March 2010

Of Mice and Men

This post may be a bit all over the show, but I'm sure you'll forgive me given the current situation.

Firstly, thankyou for the continuing comments. I have been checking from my phone - gives me something to do besides twiddling my thumbs, translating screeds and screeds of online operation manual and looking at the clock.

Today my parents flew down to Wellington for a consult with New Zealand`s answer to Dr. McDreamy. The appointment was for anytime after 1pm. Needless to say there was a lot of clock gazing - on this, a day when no news most probably definately doesn't mean good news.

By 2pm Japan time (6pm NZ time) I couldn't stand it anymore and had to ring my sister. She was on her fourth glass of wine - three while she was clock gazing and the next in relief - relief for that glimmer of hope given to us by Dr. McDreamy and a lab full of mice. Not hope in the sense that bastard peanut sized tumor will suddenly up and leave but hope in that our time, mum's time, might be extended.

She has the most aggressive form of incurable cancer. It is called a Glio Blastoma for those of you who didn't access the link a couple of posts back. I haven't googled since then so any information herein is about third or fourth hand from my sister, my dad, the doctor and a pukeko in a punga tree.

People with this type of cancer, if left untreated, usually die within 3 months of finding out. Fortunately, mum's not a roll over and die kind of person. I have an inkling she plans on sliding in to the finish line completely done over, all life squeezed out of her and with a glass, no a bottle, of sav in hand.

The only option really is the 'procedure' - as mum is calling it, the 'cut and suck' as dad is calling it, and a 'craineotomy' as it is more commonly known. (My computer is far to delicate today after hours of translating that I fear putting the spell check on will put it over the edge - so please forgive fuckups.)

A successful 'procedure' and we may get up to a couple of good years - after of course course/s of chemo. From what I can gather, even if all the bastard is sucked out during the 'cut and suck' it will re-appear. One of those cancers that just KEEPS. COMING. BACK.

However, there is a new clinical trial of some wonder drug that has only been approved for trial in New Zealand for the last couple of months. This trial has been proven, on mice, to destroy the cancer in fifty percent of recipients. It is a drug specifically made for this type of cancer. Mum has signed the papers and IF they get all the tumor out on Friday, and WHEN the bastard re-appears she will be all set to get those been-proven-on-mice-but-just-starting-out-on-men drugs.

It's a glimmer though. I glimmer of hope that mum will be with us for longer yet.

But first things first... the cut 'n' suck (sounds like something I need done on my thighs and flummy) is scheduled for Friday.

My dad is with her and my little brother and mum's sister arrived today too. My other sister is flying down tomorrow and I have a feeling the other one is going to be there too. That's the whole fam dam. Minus me.

I know she has a lot of loved ones with her to perhaps make it a little less scary but that doesn't mean I wish I wasn't there. I so wish I was. That said, I think I would be more scared.

You know I had a good talk with her yesterday. Good in that we talked about the kids and the weather and other normal stuff. I was too chicken shit to ask...

So how are you really mum?
Are you scared mum?
Are you pissed off that life is ripping you off mum?

I imagine the answers would be not so good, yes and fuck yes. I think I was afraid to ask them because

I'M not ok.
I'M scared, and
I'M pissed off that life is ripping ME off.

How utterly and entirely selfish.

I'm still in denial a bit did you know. Not so much denial I guess as pretending for large parts of the day that nothing is wrong. That life is as it was this time last week. I don't think it will really sink in until I have been home.

Speaking of which - I sent my passport application off. Even went to the big post office three towns over so it would be faster! I arrived there at 8:59 hoping to get the courier envelope in the post by thirty seconds past nine. I wasn't thinking I might be behind a vestling wanting to send one apple, one carrot and one daikon to every living relative - all of course living in the far corners of the country.

Passport post stamped at 9:15.

I get a little bit nervous when I have to send my passport in the post. However, in taking the ten photocopies of it before sealing it up I realised that my visa is absolutely one hundred percent valid - until the year after next in fact. Just goes to show that you really should keep a list of everything important that happens while you are pregnant - I applied for current visa while pregnant with Ryu. Mushy brain. I still need to get a multiple re-entry permit though so will go and spend half a day at the immigration office (and perhaps starbucks) getting that and my visa transferred to new passport -when it arrives.

Anyhoo, I best get to bed. I have spent the whole day translating and still have to do it all day tomorrow to get it in on time. May have to cancel English. Probably seems silly that am translating at time like this but this one translation (if I actually get the bastard finished) will pay for a whole trip home for Ryu and I. Not something to be laughed at lightly.


Edit - and thank you friends for the phonecallas and the emails. I haven't been ignoring you, I have been ignoring EVEYRONE. Screening my calls. I only answered the phone once today. As was completely non related. I will ring you all back though and reply to emails - next week maybe. Will have more news to impart after Friday's 'procedue' anyway. But thankyou. Really.


random_01 said...

Hi GW, just caught up on your posts. Sending oodles of keep your chin up and positive vibes your way in this time which must be so overwhelming for you. My heart really goes out to you, Penny.

L. said...

Oh, I just wish it could be MY mother instead of yours....I suppose lightening will strike me dead for wishing that, but why is it that these things only seem to strike loving people who love life, and not the other kind of people?

tj-injapan said...

wow, a lot to comprehend. It is good that things are moving along so fast - your mum and family obviously have a lot of fantastic doctors on her side. I can only imagine the next few days are going to be nervewracking for you - I think you should cancel English classes and get the translation done (hopefully it will help take your mind off things at least a bit).

Thinking of you and your family heaps. BIG HUGS

Bryn said...

Oh GW, that's good news! Not great, and definitely not what we're hoping for, but still good, with the distinct possibility of becoming great! Lots of ganbatte vibes coming your way! {{{HUGS}}}

(Crap L, I thought the same thing! LOL)

illahee said...

best wishes for today GW. you and your family are in my thoughts.

sassymoo said...

Am thinking of you and praying for your mum. Stay strong.

Kelly Azuma said...

I will be sending lots of reiki healing energy and angels your mum's way. Kelly xx

Oyomesan said...

Tomorrow is going to be so hard for you - specially knowing that you can't be there with all your family...but you know when you DO get there that you can be the fresh face for your mum and give emergy to everyone -
"Cut n' Suck"??? your dad sounds great!

Nay said...

God, I read your posts of late and have no idea what to say...I just keep imagining how you must be feeling and my eyes well up and tears start flowing...

I wish that I was better with words and could say something that may help you through this but unfortunately I really suck at expressing myself so I just want to let you know I am thinking of you and your family and hoping for the best possible outcome!!


Violet said...

It may be a glimmer of hope but it's still hope, so hang onto it! If your mum's anything like you I'm sure she'll be putting up a fight. It sucks being so far at times like this but don't beat yourself up about it. Don't forget to take care of yourself, amongst all the anguish and caring for others. Thoughts are with you.

Lulu said...

I have only just found now to catch up on recent blog posts and I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through.

I don`t really know what to say except that my thoughts, prayers and lots of hope are coming your way (and going all the way to NZ too!)

Big hugs. xoxo