Monday, December 03, 2007

The Ghost of Christmas Past

The kids are already heady with excitement over Christmas, and I'm trying my best to fill the season with magic for them. I always drag my feet a bit at this stage of the game. This year, though, it's even harder.

The good news that my mother-in-law received was, unfortunately, not the complete news. She found out last week that there was a satellite tumor next to the primary tumor in her arm. Which means that the cancer has in fact spread.

She's embarking on a year-long treatment course today. I'm trying to focus on the fact that the lymph nodes looked good, and that perhaps the satellite tumor spread locally rather than systemically. Still, it's a pretty scary scenario, with survival numbers that are discouraging to say the least.

This seems all too familiar to me. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer right before Christmas. He died six weeks later. Several years had to pass before I could view Christmas as a happy holiday again. The current circumstances are not analogous to my dad's, I realize, but the timing parallel is too eerie to ignore.

I'm sorry I don't have a pithy or thoughtful concluding paragraph here. I'll be back later this week, perhaps with a more uplifting post.