Life has great timing-today is Mum's 66th birthday and her first radiotherapy treatment. It really does seem like the gods like to wrap everything neatly together-even the shitty things.
She had already been fitted for the Hannibal Lecter style mask a few days earlier, which she wears during treatment that covers her entire head and face. Dr T (consultant) was unsure if radiotherapy was going to be directed just to one area or entire brain-they are going with entire brain. Anything you hear from doctors at this point isn't pleasant and this news doesn't indicate a positive or negative-so just another step on this path that no-one wants to walk.
The hospital is amazing especially The Christie (chemo/radiotherapy section) staff are wonderful, place is spotless, all modern facilities. Although I was born, raised, and lived in the UK until I was 21, I forget how utterly wonderful it is that we get free health care. I spend a majority of my life in Los Angeles worried that if I need to go the hospital I would never be able to afford the health care, and here, Mum walks into a scan ($6000 easily) and everything is free. God bless the Queen/Parliment/2ndWW/Taxes (delete where applicable)
Radiotherapy was quick (15mins) and my Aunt and I kept her laughing randomly. It's strange laughing when you are in the most awful situations-I remember laughing just before going into my Dad's funeral at some random comment. I think it's also the way of the Scottish and Irish-we make light of even the most dire situations.
Coming home, Mum was same as usual, tired-me forcing her to take a nap/her refusing. At times like these, it seems the kindness of others can be the things that make you want to sob more than the reality of the events. M and M (Mum's exceptional next door neighbors) came to the door with a mini Christmas tree in hand, baubles and a star. Their kindness and thoughtful gestures can really encourage the tears to flow-but I put on a brave and excited face as Mum commented, "it makes me want to cry..." I responded, "we can't, it's so kind and wonderful-it should make us happy." But I knew what she meant and echoed her sentiments in my head-the reminder of Christmas coming and the fact our lives are so crippled we can't even put a Christmas tree up, is heart wrenching.