When timing doesn’t really matter.

Happy Thanksgiving!  You’ve got lung cancer!
A few people have said something along the lines of “really rough to get such bad news right before Thanksgiving”.  After giving this some thought, i’ve decided there is no particularly good time to find out you have a life-threatening illness.

Sunny day in May?  Dark, dreary and blustery cold day in February?  Columbus Day shopping holiday?  National Lung Cancer Awareness Day?
Although not nearly as grim of a diagnosis, i got verification of breast cancer on December 26th, 2006.  That was only because the doctor refused to meet with me on the 24th, Christmas Eve.  When i pressed him, he danced around the availability of the biopsy results, and said something like “I wouldn’t want to have you worried about it over Christmas”.
Hey, Nimrod!  i was already worried about it, right about the time i got the call for a follow-up mammogram.  What’s under the fucking tree is about the last thing on my mind this weekend…
Let’s weigh out the timing of the news that was delivered to my Mom today.  Probable Lung Cancer vs Dinner at Golden Corral*on Saturday?  You know what?  Once we left the doc, she was feeling pretty good, and asked if we could go to a new Chinese food buffet instead.  She was fairly upbeat once she started telling me about all the different things they have at that new place…

My family does not waste away.  We can eat through any crisis.

As far as a medical update on Mom, the pulmonary doc was being a bit evasive, telling her that the PET scan indicated some metabolic activity that indicated that the mass in her lung is likely to be lung cancer.  But without a biopsy, there is no diagnosis.  Next stop?  Needle biopsy. 

But first?  The buffet…


 * Given the last two years of disaster, we agreed to meet for a Thanksgiving meal at 2:00pm Saturday on neutral turf:  The trough at the Golden Corral All-You-Can-Shove-Into-Your-Gullet Buffet.  Yum.  When i laid out the family plans, with the backdrop of Mom’s cancer, to my sister in Florida?  She offered to fly back to The Park to join us – but i assured her it wasn’t necessary.  Then we laughed our asses off when she asked her partner “Hey, you wanna fly 2,000 miles to have lunch at Golden Corral? I don’t think we have any of those down here.”

43 thoughts on “When timing doesn’t really matter.

  1. I’m with you – there is NO good time to get that news.

    My mom got lung cancer and lived. My dad had a heart attack and lived. And I still get squoozy if I think about getting those two pieces of news. But thinking back, I was oddly calm and reasonable at the time in both cases. It was only later when it hit me. Which is good I guess…

  2. maybe the doc is dragging it out because his girlfriend needs a new porsche.

    and, didn’t you know? Ponderosa is appropriate for a lung cancer diagnosis. Chinese buffet is where you go after a heart disease diagnosis. sheesh! where are you people from, the Trailer Park? Oh….

    • i blog for one reason – to sort out my family relationship issues. everythin else is just keeping the electrons warm. you’ll be kept up to date. Golden Corral is special. Imagine the largest people you can imagine. Populate a big restaurant with unlimited troughs of food with these people. Throw in some harried servers, attempting to keep everyone watered. Some folks camp out for several hours…

  3. So….probable lung cancer, eh? Sorry that the news is something other than good, daisyfae.

    Does this situation provide any impetus to those in the trailer park to get to work and get your Mom back into her house? Will they now allow help to be hired to get the work done? I daresay she doesn’t want to spend her remaining days in DQ’s living room.

    • PET scan says more than probable, but doc was hedging. You nailed it – BJ has been busting his hump to work on the renovation. Three walls up, and he’s likely to have it under roof by next week. DQ has been paying a lot more attention to Mom. The bitchslap of reality that she’s gonna die seems to have lit a fire under some of the asses down there…

    • Thanks, FJ! It’s all part of the natural progression of things when an aging parent starts that slow swirl around the drain. We shall do our best to keep the path comfortable. And eat a lot.

  4. I feel your pain. Far too well I know it.

    Time to make the most of what life is left. Then again, isn’t that true for all of us, terminal diagnosis or not?

    Enjoy the holiday (much as you can anyway).


    • So sorry to hear of your brother’s tumor – fingers crossed that things are resolved well for you and your clan.

      and yes. it is my mantra to not waste a breath. i’m pretty sure i’ll have few regrets when i’m done…

  5. You’re onto something here… just found out you got cancer? Hit the buffet. That’s what I’ll do when I get something. It’s easier to drag people out for a buffet than to the bar to watch you get hammered.

    • i just wish they had all-you-can-eat buffets with liquor licenses… drunk people, stuffing their faces? how much fun is THAT restroom going to be around closing time?

  6. That just sucks..But seeing as how it’s Thanksgiving, we should be thankful that you found out and now have an illness to focus on.
    One day at a time..
    I made Lamb Stew for Thanksgiving..The hubby has to work night shift this week..7p-7a..on our anniversary, none the less.
    I can’t do the Buffet things..I hate the open tables with the little kids and most adults, sniffling and sneezing and rubbing their noses over the food.

    • i’m thankful i live an hour away. and that my extended family is being nice to her. bummer about the work shift on the anniversary – but hope you can come up with a plan to celebrate later!

  7. “Happy Thanksgiving! You’ve got lung cancer!”

    Have you considered a career in greeting-card writing? Do you hear that ringing? It’s the sound of Hallmark calling.

    In all seriousness, I hope that a feast at Golden Corral solves more problems than it causes. Well, not total seriousness. This is me, after all.

    • we’ll be off to the chinese buffet. i think i’m going to pack a flask. and hallmark better pay a lot of money, because i don’t have much more than that – well, except the “Fuck My Life” series….

  8. aw damn! my dad smoked 2 ppday for > 65 years and when he got the diagnosis said, “why stop now?” He was always scared shitless of getting cancer, but once he was diagnosed, he was the king of denial. No biopsy, no surgery, no treatment. Docs said he’d have a 2% chance to last 1 year but he went out smoking to the end – 3 years later. Be kind and gentle to yourself, daisyfae.

    • There’s somethin to be said for that approach – he ‘owned’ it. No heroic measures, no extended hospital stays for treatment or surgery. see my next post… i think she’s thinking the same thing.

  9. Both of my parents each died of a lingering illness so there was the time for preparation, it’s the sudden earlier-than-I’d-like deaths that leave me reeling. I guess I’m a planner, and I know that it’s in all of our plans to die.

    • have to agree that having time to think, prepare and plan the details may have advantages… she’s starting to make lists. things she wants at the funeral. zoicks… a ‘balloon launch’?

    • the sushi was passable, and the ice cream wasn’t that soft serve stuff that gives you an instant headache. my fortune: “Be brave. Be a visionary”. Now, i always add “…in bed” to all of my fortunes…. makes it all the more fun.

    • sadly, it’s true. she had JK take her to Big Boy on the way back from the first doc visit, they went to a big ass buffet after the PET scan, and she insisted on the new china buffet trough for thanksgiving… Mooo, bitches…. it’s what we do.

  10. Golden Corral?! All we have in the northwoods is an Old Country Buffet….my dad’s second wife treated it like a special occassion place so I understand this completely. Except one time when we were kids we were on a a family trip and stopped at a GC and my sisters and I thought that was the greatest place ever! All that bell ringing for bread and biscuits was so cool! Fannnncccciiieeeee
    Ahem, sorry ’bout that. As you know, I eventually found my way into fine dining and now run a business that does not require bulk anything or troughs.
    On another note, keeping you, your mom and the family in my thoughts. Good luck with everything girlie.

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