Tuesday, February 22, 2011

6 Months

6 Months is not a lot of time.
Half a year.
Roughly 180 days.
A blink of an eye.

That is how long we have with my Momo.
Last Thursday, the bomb was dropped on my lap. I had to tell my mother and then Momo herself.
Her liver is speckled, no, not speckled, riddled, with cancer. Too much to do surgery on. And chemo may not be an option. Even if it is an option, what would her quality of life be for the extra few months it may give her?
I was lucky enough to get off work an hour early last Thursday and the doctor was heading to her room as I walked onto the floor she was on. One of my good friends was her nurse that day and hurried me to the room. The doctor pulled me into a separate room, away from her, and gave me the news. I took it well and I am still handling it better than I ever thought I would. I think my medical background is helping with that...knowing too much sometimes allows you to have mindset of knowing when treatment isn't the best option. The doctor was very kind. A new partner with 2 of my favorite docs in the world. I almost took a job with them in fact. He was honest and pulled up her CT scans and showed them to me. Then gave me the prognosis. I am sure it is one of the worst parts of his job. He was very candid with me and more than sincere. He told me that it would be my job, as both the granddaughter and as the family member with medical background, to be the voice of reason...sanity...compassion.
I called mom and told her to stop by the hospital before getting Papa to bring to see Momo.
She instantly knew.
When she got there I took her to a private room and told her. She instantly broke down. It was one of those moments where I had to act as the adult and she got to be the child. I was honest with her and told her the reality of the situation. It was not a time for sugar coating. We decided to not tell Papa...with his worsening dementia he would only dwell on it over and over and he doesn't need that. He worries enough. Mom left to get Papa and I went back in to see Momo and have the talk with her.
I told her as simply as I could and with as much tact as you can. She took it well. She was very quiet for the first 20 min, but then began to ask questions. I told her that she had to make the mental decision to either fight it to the end or just roll over and die and I told her that I hoped it would be the first. That she was a strong woman and that many wouldn't have made it through the 10 hours surgery that she endured. She agreed. Then she showed just how much she cared when she said, "I can't leave Papa alone."
I told her that when the time came, Papa would never be alone. That we wouldn't let that happen and that it was the least of her worries. That she needs to take the mental standpoint of a fighter and put her stubborness to good use. She laughed at that.

Her personality since the news hit has been like her old self and I am so thankful for that.
My Momo is back.
My Momo from Friday night sleep overs and talking for hours. The gentle care is back in her voice. The bitterness that had set in over the years seems to have melted away.
I am going to take these 6 Months and make the most of them.
Because in reality...it is so little.


  1. I am so sorry Haley. I have been in your shoes before and it's not easy. My thoughts are with you and your family.....

  2. Like you, Tanner is taking the news better than I thought he would. I think her previous surgery prepared him for bad news. You know your brother; very quiet with his emotions but deeply concerned, protective, and always loving.
    If you need anything, please don't hesitate to let us know. We love you so much!

  3. Haley, I'm so so sorry.

    Enjoy those short months.
    I love you, I have grown to love Momo too. I love when you talk about her. You guys will be on my mind double time for a long, long time.

  4. Can I suggest, and this is if you're mom's up to it, to record either Video or Audio of your mom, and ask her to make a comment / advice for any grandchildren or great grandchildren that will never get a chance to meet her.

    My Kids never got to know my dad, and it seems like I barely knew him... He died in a car accident when I was 20.