Thursday, February 03, 2005
In the eye of the beholder
My mom and I were talking this evening on the phone. It’s so hard because she lives in Florida and I’m way out here - the two hour time difference can be difficult. I like to wait to call until after 7 PM when I have free long distance and that is pretty late for anyone over 35 with little kids, let alone my 77 year old mother. So, as I normally do, I take the selfish route and call at 7:00 anyway.
I woke her, of course. She’s always very nice about it. “That’s okay, I just had my eyes closed” which in Trudy code means that she was not FULLY sleeping, just in that haze between awake and asleep.
Our conversation was disjointed at best. My kids choose to ask me 50 million questions whenever I put a phone up to my ear and that can get a little distracting. Tonight was no exception. My mom was very patient and just asked me to repeat things a lot. After the kids finally disappeared for a complete five minute period, I was able to have a better conversation. We talked about me first – she’s really nice about that – and then I asked how she was doing.
Her days have been full of bridge games with friends in their condo community, and crossword puzzles on the lanai, but she still gets bored occasionally. She then filled me in on how the latest chemo treatments have been working. Her cancer marker blood test revealed a large drop in her count this week which is GREAT! Her hair has fallen out, “You should see me, I’m completely bald!” she tells me with a smile. We then discussed the available options she has besides her wig – today she’s leaning towards a turban. (Personally, I’m pushing for a cute Gilligan-style hat.)
She then told me that she has been getting compliments on how good she looks. “Carol, I actually think my wrinkles are disappearing. I keep looking for them! I am still using the same moisturizers.” At this point we are both laughing because it’s almost as if she’s justifying her claims. (Don’t worry, Mom, I don’t think you’ve gone and gotten Botox!) We then laughed as we visualized her in a TV commercial telling everyone the amazing wrinkle decreasing benefits of chemotherapy.
Thank God we can laugh about some of this.