The Next Morning

The above picture is a photo that my mom took of my siblings and me when we visited her this morning. She’s doing great considering her brain was operated on only hours earlier. My brother held up his phone to my mom so she could talk to my almost-two-year-old niece, who’s in San Francisco. Mom was ecstatic. She also laughed and sounded like a drunk Steve Urkel the entire time, but hey, that’ll go away soon (right?).

While I was writing this entry in my journal, Morgan came in to see her. He’s tall, distinguished, and looks to be in his seventies. He’s thick around his torso, and I’d believe you if you said he was a bodybuilder in a past life. But he’s also very much a “no dicking around” kind of guy, which isn’t the best personality to mix with my mom, who, well, likes to dick around. Even now.

Morgan asked if she needed anything, and she rambled about a few things that she thought she needed but didn’t quite need, and he said he’d make sure she got some soft foods soon. As he turned to leave, I asked if we were going to talk about her diagnosis—the conversation I wasn’t looking forward to having, but felt needed to happen. “We can talk when she asks,” he said and continued walking.

“Doc?” my mom strained to say. I called out to Morgan, who walked back. “Do I have cancer in my head?”

“Yes, it’s cancerous,” he said. “We’ll have to talk about getting you on chemotherapy and radiation.”

“So, it’s treatable?” she asked.

“Well, everything is treatable to a certain extent.”

While she wasn’t able to pick up on the cues in his voice, he was already answering the questions I wasn’t yet prepared to ask.

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