So, my mom has cancer. Yeah, you know that. Well, a week ago today, she had major surgery to remove part of her lung that her cancer was at. I've spent the last week, seven days, taking care of her. I would be at the hospital the majority of the time, with my step-dad coming to relieve me for some time during the day. I knew I would be the one taking care of her, but I think she and I both were surprised by the amount of work recovery would be. She was in the hospital from last Wednesday until Monday and then came to my house until this afternoon for me to care for her. While I woke up in the middle of the night to check on her, helped her to the bathroom, helped her shower, made her tea, cooked her soup, I couldn't help but wonder if this was a picture of what was to come.
I am my mom's only daughter, and as her only daughter it is assumed that I will be the primary caretaker of her and my step-father as they age and need assistance. I am honored to be the one to care for them. Honestly, I would be jealous and angry if anyone else tried to take that job away from me. No one knows my mom like I do, and with that said I don't believe anyone can take care of her like I can. However, with the tiny glimpse I've had this week with her pretty much needing me for every little thing she did, It's fair to say I've had the shizzz scared out of me. It is hard. And when I say hard I mean HARD. It is low down dirty frustrated teary-eyed nasty no-sleep hard. I did not want my mom to go back to her house today because I worry my step-dad won't give her enough attention, or be gentle enough or patient enough like I can be, but on the other hand, when she walked out the door I found myself wanting to do a happy dance and jump for joy. That makes me feel guilty.
I can deal with the cooking of the soup and the oatmeal and the hot tea. I can deal with the middle of the night calls to get help to the bathroom or more water. I can not deal with my mom being dependent. My mom is the epitome of independence. And for that to change, is scary. I have ran to my mom for everything in my life, depending on her shoulder, her advice, her care, and I do not want to be my mother's mother.
If I become my mother's mother, then I feel I no longer have a mother. And I need her. I hope the time when I need to be her permanent care giver is wayyyyy off into the future. So far off that I'll need MY daughter to care for the both of us, because I'll be so old right along with her. Ahhhh, that would be nice.....