Thursday, March 22, 2007

the good, the bad and the ugly

Home again after what feels like a month away, though it was only 2 weeks. Hard to believe. I rode the Big Grey Dog (as Stephen King calls the Greyhound) with the usual assortment of white trash and, as a bonus, a vomiting child! Sorry to sound snobby, but those buses are full of really sad people. Had one night at home, then J and I took the ferry to Sechelt to visit our friends Sean & Michelle. Their little Josie turned 2 yesterday. Such big blue eyes and a very serious manner. She likes us to read to her, but she's quite shy right now and doesn't know how to handle us just yet. I look forward to a long acquaintance with her over the years... They had a little party for her (and to wakeup Mother Earth as it was the 1st day of Spring), and I joked that it was MY kind of kids' party- 8 adults and only 2 kids!

Backing up- I had a mixed few last days up in Kelowna. The gang left Sunday morning, leaving me in charge of the beach retreat. Dad & June came to get me and we had a relaxing afternoon and tasty dinner. I always feel like such a kid up there somehow, partly because I don't drive I guess but also because our lives are so least we all get along, even if they don't always understand my choices.
On Monday June drove me back to the beach house and I spent the day lolling around the house, reading. Until Dad called from Vancouver with some terrible news. June's CT scan, which she'd had Monday morning after dropping me off, showed cancer in a lung, an ovary, and her abdomen. They won't operate, as it's too widespread. Agressive chemo sounds like the only recourse, but it sounds as if it may be paliative at best. June's being very brave, trying to go on with life although she's reeling. At least she's not in any pain yet, and indeed that's why she (and all of us) are so shocked by the results. She has a test in Vancouver in about a month, so until then she wants to travel to Ottawa to see her daughter and the grandkids, and live life as normally as possible. I worry about Dad- he's not good at dealing with this sort of stress. But then- who is? We've been a very lucky family until now- all the grandparents still alive (except Mom's dad, but he died when she was 19), strong and fit as horses. Even when Auntie Ollie's partner died of cancer they were in England, so although I had met M, and was very fond of him, it felt very remote. We are all so unprepared for this.
Anyway, it feels self-indulgent to go on about this right now. I'm very fond of June, but she and I are arms' length- we've never had a row so we've never bropken down those last barriers. So I don't want to claim her tragedy as mine to get sympathy. But she IS very much family, and I can't imagine her this ill. All I can do is phone in and send healing thoughts, at least for now.

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