STORY AND PHOTOS BY AMANDA PARKINSON
The phone rang, I was busy. The phone rang, I was still busy. The phone rang, I didn’t notice. The phone rang, I answered it.
As I sat laughing with a friend, ignoring my phone, a woman – a woman I call mum – sits numb, desperately trying to contact me.
“The cancer has spread; the doctors can’t do anything,” she said.
There is chaos but I am still. I hear silence but my thoughts scream. My breath abated, tears begin to tumble. I have been broken, my smile stolen and searing pain feels like it is trying to rip through my chest. I am raw. I am exposed.
Her cancer, like a fire, started small with a lump in her breast. Doctors removed it and doused it in chemo. Four months later four more lumps sprung up like spot fires. Doctors act aggressively with a double mastectomy, confident this will extinguish the disease. Three weeks later, a lump – secondary cancer – doctors can do nothing now.
Knowing there is a death sentence mounted above your loved one’s head feels like watching the innocent walk death row. It renders you helpless; you are simply a subsidiary spectator. There is no happy ending to this story, I am sure my mum wishes I could find a silver lining. The truth is I wish it was me.
When? Where? Why? We don’t have any answers. All we know is her time is limited, our time with her drastically shortened. The only answer is to tell her every day that I love her. To not let anger fuel my fear. For now all I have is knowledge that life is short, so it must be lived.
The Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day, raising money for breast cancer research: http://www.pinkribbonday.com.au/
Breast Cancer information and support: http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/breast-cancer/?gclid=CNON5OP–rICFRBJpgodeTAAYQ