Friday, April 04, 2008

Bureau of Maternal Health

A month ago, my mom found out her breast cancer has returned.

She’s been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, which is a rare, more aggressive form of cancer that is not easily detectable by routine mammograms. The type of cancer she has is protein-based rather than hormone-based, which is rarer still.

She began chemotherapy at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in mid-March. After several rounds of chemo, she’s planning to have a double mastectomy followed by more chemo. Treatment is expected to last about a year.

I didn’t want to write about this here until my mom gave me her permission and she’d had a chance to tell close friends and family. She gave me the okay when Kate and I went to Houston over Easter. Even so, I've struggled to write about this because the words I choose don’t seem capable of embodying what I feel.

The immediate instinct when you hear someone you love has cancer is to offer whatever help you can, even when you don’t know exactly what to offer. I know my folks have derived a great deal of strength from friends and family. So have I. I’m not a religious person, but the only way I know how to characterize this is as a blessing.

One of the first things my mom told me when she broke the news was not to worry. Having commiserated over our shared inclinations toward anxiety for years, this struck me as supreme irony. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to take my mom’s advice to heart. Her resolve to get through this is inspirational and I’m very proud she’s my mom.


Melanie said...

Greg, I'm so sorry to hear this, but I am inspired by your mother's strength. I've been in the breast cancer trenches with my own mother and I can truly sympathize with what you're going through as the adult child of a sick parent. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Krishna said...


I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's health. I haven't seen her in years, but I remember her being such a bright light of person, which will carry her and your whole family through this. Please tell her I said hello and that my prayers are with her and your family.

Much love,

(Your old next-door neighbor from Teas St.)