When I told the girls that their grandma had colon cancer, the first question Allison had for me was if it was the same as Grandma Ann's. Grandma Ann is a friend of Allison's grandma who has Acute Myeloid Leukemia. "No no Allison - Grandma Vick's cancer isn't as fierce as Grandma Ann's. Grandma Vick will got to Grand Forks for her chemo. She'll probably get a bit sick but not as much as Grandma Ann."
Four days later, Missi had a doctor's appointment. Missi had told me she thought she had MDS or Leukemia. When she had called that Tuesday, she told me her instincts were right. She would be going in for a bone marrow biopsy to have the exact accurate diagnosis. She found it was Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Allison asked me if it was like Grandma Ann's cancer.
I sighed "Yes." We both cried.
Since then, it's been hard answering questions. We don't know any definite answers. We didn't know when Missi would lose her hair. We don't know when Missi will come home or when we will go and see her. We don't know when Missi will have her bone marrow transplant or who will be her match. Kids like answers. They want to know what is coming ahead. We all need to learn to live one day at a time.
It's really had to not know the answers and still reassure Missi's children as well as my own.
Last night, Ethan (Missi's oldest) asked me why his mom just couldn't have her treatment in Grand Forks. Why did his mom have to be so far away?
I actually had an answer for this. I told him about how there was a shortage of the drug used to treat his mom's cancer, and Mayo was the best and closest place for his mom to get her treatment. Rochester is eight hours away. It is a long drive for any child.
Mom will go in for her consult on Monday. She'll be starting the next phase of her journey. The kids wonder if their grandma will lose her hair like their mom/aunt did. I don't have the answer to that question either.
Not knowing is a hard lesson to learn.