Three Kid Circus : Borrowing Trouble

Friday, July 23, 2004

Borrowing Trouble

My mom is a renowned drama queen, a pessimist (although she denies that) and occasional hypochondriac.  Maybe that's not fair to say.  She just tends to jump to the worst conclusion possible.  This has been a source of much huffing and eye-rolling for me and my siblings.  
"Oh, MOM... I'm CAREFUL.  Stop WORRYING!" My sister, brother and I have always felt that her worrying and stewing over the minutiae of our lives was unfounded.  We have been largely untouched by tragedy in our 30+ years.  No major accidents.  No broken bones.  No addictions, no teen pregnancies, no abductions or serious illnesses.

Since becoming a mother, I've found all sorts of reasons to worry.  Holding my first born, a few hours after her birth, it dawned on me that I am now responsible for the health and well being of a little person.  Now with three little people, I have lots of little worries, and a few big ones.  I still feel optimistic (but then, so does my mom.  Hmmm...) 

Back to my mom.  This morning, she called me and told me that the results of her recent thermography scan were not good.  There are several major hotspots in one breast, and several minor ones in the other.  She's got a mammogram scheduled for next month.  She has recently begun treatment for high blood pressure and suffered a bad reaction to a new thyroid medicine.  Over the last 15 years, she's had numerous episodes where her vision becomes temporarily impaired.  She has migranes.  She has chest pains.  She is scheduled for a stress test next week.

She is scared, as am I.  My gut reaction has always said "She's fine.  She's FINE.  It's just her worry talking."  This time, I'm not so confident.  Whatever comes of these tests, we'll tackle as a family.  It's another set of worries on her heavy load.

When I was a teenager, my mom lost a good friend to breast cancer.  It was a traumatic loss for her, and she vowed that she would rather die quickly from the cancer than suffer the indignities of chemo.  This incensed me, selfish teenager that I was.  Wouldn't she rather fight it? 

We talked about that this morning.  She tells me that she's met so many cancer survivors now, and heard about so many alternative treatments that she realizes that people don't just lay down and die now. 

I don't believe in borrowing trouble.  There is no official diagnosis here, just a nagging worry.  My mom is incredibly intuitive, another skill that caused exasperation for my siblings.  She could smell a lie before you even tried it out on her.  I am hoping that this time she is way off the mark.

I feel awkward writing about this.  I'm not even sure how I feel about it.  I tried to put a positive spin on it this morning, but I'm not able to detach from it.

I guess this is when worry becomes a prayer.  She'll be fine.  She'll be FINE.