We visited my parents this weekend. I was very worried that I would break down as this would be my first meeting with my mum since her diagnosis. However, they were so full of fun and plans that I found myself just enjoying being envelopped in that warm family environment. They had created lots of little jobs for the grandchildren to do like feeding the birds. It was lovely to watch my dad pottering around with my three children chattering away. I hope it gave him a break from what seems a constant round of medical appointments with mum.
Mum looked so well that it was almost hard to take her diagnosis seriously. She made a huge meat and potato pie for us followed by her Christmas cake. As everyone shared news, I reflected that it would soon be time to get hold of these family recipes. I have every intention of taking over mum's matriarch reins when the time comes, certainly where cooking is concerned.
As the children played with their toys in a room they have for the purpose at grandma's house, Mum opened up. However, this was not to be a revelation of her fears and worries. Instead, she regaled us with stories of having to dress in a gown without a strap and knickers with a hole in the back at hospital. She has had this procedure before and had said to staff "Oh, I see you are bringing on the designer outfit again". When the procedure was being carried out, she was in a torment of pain and moaned out. The male nurse said, "Irene, hold my hand". As she did so, she spotted his tattoo. "And I thought", she said "Look at what I have come to. I would never have looked at a fella with a tattoo before".
So if we cried this weekend, we did it with laughter. She is the greatest comedienne complete with a great sense of timing and utter wickedness. She kept saying to my husband "You do know what knickers are, don't you? I imagine you will have seen a fair few!"
Many people who read my blog ask for updates on her condition. The procedure referred to above failed to locate the source of the primary cancer so she is off for a full MRI scan today.
I hate the thought of her being poked and prodded and hope she makes her own choices in this final journey.