Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Fishing was stellar this week.  The anticipated catch for Monday was around 93,000 with the actual catch about 240,000 sockeye salmon.  Or there abouts for the 12 hour opener.  That’s an average of 300 fish per boat.  With escapement right on target Thursdays opener is a 36 hour one.  Or so I’m told. But me?  I’m in Ohio.  It wasn’t a planned trip, but a necessary one.  You see, my mom was just diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer.  It has a more technical name than that, but I can hardly remember it let alone spell it.  I just know that you never know about these things and it was time to get home to see her.  So, a ferry ride, a red eye flight and an eight hour drive across 3 states and I showed up on her at her door.  
My sister, my mom, and I are trying to take it all in stride.  But it’s hard.  And overwhelming.  And too much.  And did I mention hard?  Well, it needs to be mentioned twice, because it is.  There is so much to digest and to do.  I tried to prepare myself but I didn’t know what to prepare for.  Turns out the things I was prepared for didn’t happen and I wasn’t prepared for what did happen. Funny how the universe likes to throw those curve balls. The things I thought would be hard aren’t and then the hard things catch me off guard.   Like taking her to her chemo.  We pull up in my out of state rental car and the free hospital Valet parking guy says “Welcome to Ohio.”  We are still giggling at his sense of humor when we walk into this nice, well foliaged building.  My eyes automatically start scanning the place as I walk through the door.  I see brick, plants, a coffee shop, stairs, and all things you would expect to see.  I see people walking around………in head scarves and hats or bald.  That was one of those unexpected moments that hit you like a ton of bricks ………. “I’m in a chemo ward”.  I had to muster all I had not to cry right then and there.  “Be brave for your mother, she needs you now” was what I heard a voice in my head say. 
There is so much to do.  The paper work, financial aid applications, medicines, check lists, nutritional diets, support groups, more paperwork………the dreaded will. We are still trying to process that cancer part.  It’s all too much and all I can report this week.  But, one bite of the elephant at a time.   
If anyone would like to send my mom a card, I’m sure she would love it.  You can mail it to:
c/o Jen Pickett
PO Box 1135
Cordova, AK

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