Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can't and Won't

Call it semantics, but it's a big deal around here. We were raised by a man that knew his grammar. I can't tell you the number of times my Dad corrected any of us, including my mom, about the correct use of can & may, can't & won't, who & whom. He would even correct random folks (which I'm sure really made their day) And now I hear my sister drumming it into my nieces all the time "Mom, can I have that?" - her response "Sure you can, but may you?" Dad would be so proud.

But even I do it. For instance, today - as I was arguing with Scott- he said I can't change my own oil or mow the lawn. I said it's not that I can't, it's that I won't - not when there are perfectly trained individuals that can do it for me and save me time and messing up a manicure. That's simple right? But somehow he has trouble with it, somehow he figures because I won't I can't - this from a man who hasn't bought his own underwear in 17 years (I think he literally can not buy his own clothes any more).

And as annoying as I find it to be the only one shopping for my husband's clothing, that really isn't the problem I have (well, maybe it's not a problem yet, but it's got all the markings of one). At yesterday's appointment with the oncologist we were told that my mom is technically "cured" as far as the breast cancer goes - the tumors have been removed and everything looks good, but (come one, you just knew there had to be a but right?) she still has a 40% chance of the cancer reoccurring in some way shape or form. The next step is to give her some sort of protein therapy that does some magical cancer disappearing act on this particular type of cancer and her risk of recurrence goes down another 15% to 25% - so yay that's good news. The number gets even better, down to an 18% (I recall the number being smaller, but my sister and mother think it was 18%, which is another reason why I thought it was a good idea to bring a tape recorder but was voted down, but I digress...) chance of recurrence if she does the recommended course of chemo.

So what's the problem you ask? The path is clear, mom should go the distance with chemo and the protein therapy and reduce her chances of recurrence as much as is possible right? Apparently not.

I just got a call from my sister asking what I think of mom not doing chemo - saying that she just didn't want mom to have to go through all the bad stuff for 7%. She said she just doesn't think mom can do it. And while I like to agree with all the quality of life issues, I find myself in this place where I simply can't bear to think of a 7% chance of losing my mom. So how do I tell my mother - my snarky, sarcastic, uppity, non-compliant, but I can't imagine the earth without her mother - that I simply can't and I won't allow her not to make that extra 7% happen?

Current Music: Restless - Alison Krauss & Union Station


angie said...

Well, as someone currently going through chemo to rid my body of this disease I can see both sides. Your sister probably doesn't want your Mom to be burdened or bogged-down by treatments. If it's only follow-up chemo it's probably a well-tolerated type. They don't tend to give you the hard stuff as a precaution. What is your Mom's opinion on all this? It is her decision ultimately but I think she should go for it. She's fought the disease this far; take it down completely if you have the chance! I'll keep you in my thoughts :-)

Anonymous said...
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Just Laura said...

My prayers are with you and your family. I hope you are able to talk with your mom about her decisions regarding chemo. Maybe you'll understand, maybe she'll see your point, maybe... Like I said - you are in my prayers sweetie.

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