Saturday, March 29, 2014

PCT planning: Not part of the plan

Dad just called me.  It’s about Mom’s recent cancer diagnosis.  They want to start her right away on radiation therapy for 6 weeks.  This comes as a shock.  We all thought the doctors said it was a benign form of cancer, that it wasn’t at risk of spreading, that the biopsies were promising.
Mom and I during the "southwest tour" last month.
My parents were planning on meeting me in So. Cal. in a few weeks on the PCT, and following me along the trail.  They were looking forward to meeting me in trail towns, and I was so excited to share in the adventure with them.  We’ve been talking about doing this for years, and have been planning this for months.  Cancer was not part of the plan.

Dad wants to delay treatment and just head out west to the PCT anyway.  He says if it were his cancer, he’d opt for 'no treatment' and take it as an opportunity to live life to the fullest (and “buy a motorcycle”).  But I can’t imagine Mom being comfortable not getting treatment right away- that’s how she is.  Plus, what if down the line things get worse- there’d be ‘what if’s’ and I couldn’t live with that if she put it off treatment to help me on the PCT.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, but all I want is for my mom to be healthy. 

I realize I don't normally blog about more personal stuff like this, but right now all the gear, resupply boxes and training seem completely trivial.  This is what's real.

UPDATE: Mom is figuring out her treatment options and will likely get treatment right away- thanks everyone for your good wishes.  I will start hiking the PCT as planned.

18 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear this. I'm more like your dad, but cancer is scary and I can see getting it done too. I hope everything goes well.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary. I think I'd opt for no/ less treatment too but it's so hard to know. The more I read about her form of cancer, the more optimistic I am- the statistics seem promising. It's really hard being so far away from my mom right now though.

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  2. Joan, this is terrible on so many levels. My thoughts are with you and your mom.
    -Mark (SlowBro)

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    1. Thanks! Really appreciate it, SlowBro.

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  3. Aww. :( I'll keep your mom in my thoughts. Keep us posted when you can as you are hiking.

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  4. Life sure has a way of throwing us curve balls. Timing is never good and makes decisions tough. I feel for you and your family. I wish you the best as you proceed through these decisions in the next few weeks.

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    1. Yes, life sure does work that way sometimes. Thanks for the good wishes.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear this, Joan. I'm hoping for the best for all of you.

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  6. Wow. I am so sorry to hear this. I will be hoping for the best for your mom.

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  7. Sorry Joan to hear about you Mom. Sending my best and I will be following your posts!

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  8. Dang it Joan, I am behind on reading your posts. I wish I had seen this before last weekend so I could have given you a big ole hug. As you know, we are dealing with this in my family as well, so I can totally relate to what you are going through. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thanks so much, my friend!!! It's been hard to talk about, and you know how I always avoid talking about the hard stuff. Big hugs to you.

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  9. Your mom is a beautiful gal. I hope she takes care of herself. I feel like your dad though, not sure chemo is the way to go.

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    1. I know she is going to take good care of herself. It sure is complicated, though. No easy answers. Thanks for the comments, and great to hear from you, my friend!

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