#2 The Ugly Truth Diaries – A battle of morality

Note: I don’t want to pretend as if I’m perfect because I’m not. This might come across as selfish or uncaring but know that my heart breaks every time I think of my mum. These are my own, personal worries and thoughts and I’m only human. It’s the ugly truth.

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

When I woke up this morning, after force-reading myself to sleep, everything felt so abnormally normal. During the first minutes, it all felt like any regular Saturday. Until, I heard my aunt’s voice talking to my mum. She’s worried. My mum, that is. Because she’s talking about me and described how I fell apart yesterday. I felt strange but decided to reveal myself, not wanting them to continue.

“How do you feel?” my aunt asked and I shrugged. I didn’t (don’t) know how I really felt.


My mind pingpongs from one thought to the other but there’s one thought that represents itself after each few seconds: lung cancer. It’s a winner when it comes down to the battle of thoughts. It also makes everything look so dark. Because, the doctor said six months. Six months and she should be recovered. Which is positive. I know. But my experience with cancer tells me that the last time I heard “six months”, I buried my grandfather after four. And it’s this that frightens me the most. The ugly truth. That, just maybe, with all “our luck”, we won’t have six months.

That it’s all an illusion we are currently pretending to believe.

Everything is changing. Not anything major yet. But the details are. Normally, I’d get dressed and settle down on my favourite couch (the same one I sobbed on yesterday) and read my book, prepare my book review etc.. Today, I cleaned the house, set the table for lunch, and did the laundry. You would think “easy” but it was so hard. Every movement had its own thought. Especially the laundry process. How long would I be able to hold her clothes in my hand and have a reason to wash them? Morbid. I know. I don’t know why thoughts like that crash into my skull out of the blue. Especially since I have no reason yet to think this. There is still hope. We’re only at the beginning. It’s just so easy to forget to hope and stop believing.

Afterwards, we did some hospitalisation shopping.

So much fun.

Our first stop: pajamas. I could see the weight upon her shoulders when she told the shop assistant she needed many of those, saying how she had needed them for months but had now a reason to finally buy them. I looked at her. She looked at me. She winked. She’s done a lot of winking at me today. Like we have a secret. But I know she’s checking up on me, figuring out if I’m okay. Because I needed to swallow away the tears.

We also bought bras today. For me, mind you. But we knew the shop assistant and somehow, my mum had no choice but to tell her. I saw tears well up in her eyes. I held her arm and pinched it softly, letting her know it’s okay. It’s okay.

Finally, we settled down for a cup of coffee. It’s our own little tradition. At one point the tears streamed down my cheeks again as we talked but luckily our spot is all the way at the back where no one sits. The reason why I cried is easy and yet so complicated at the same time.

You see, in April we decided to travel to London. A family trip with some close friends. We even arranged our taxi last week. But now, the first day of our trip falls on the day my mum has to go into hospital and I don’t know what to do. I’m battling with my thoughts. I want to go but I know if I go, it’ll be without my parents. I’ll be on a train to London when my mum will check in. Can I do that? Can I be this selfish because that’s how it feels to me. The fact I’m considering this feels horrid and wrong.

So I asked. I asked about her thoughts. And my mum says it’s okay. Of course, it’s okay if that’s what her daughter wants but this is not about what I want. It’s about what she wants. If I turn around the table, I would want her to stay. I would expect her to stay. So how can I long for her to want me to go and be okay with it? It’s so selfish of me. And so selfless of her. But that’s my mum. Selfless. And I know she needs me. So I should stay home. But I want to go. But then, London won’t disappear, won’t go away. She might.

So I can’t decide. I can’t. Because choosing London, is selfish. And I don’t want to be that person. I want to be with my mum every step of the journey. But then again, my mum is doing okay now. And she tells me it’s okay and my dad tells me it’s okay and my brother, well he’s going on his holiday anyway. And everything is paid for this expensive trip. (I already contacted the hotel asking about possible cancellation and refunds but they kindly pointed out that we still would be charged the full price. Cheers!)

What if their ‘okay’ really means ‘stay’?

So I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got a battle of morality inside my head but I still have a week to decide. We’ll be talking to the doctor after the weekend and see what’s really happening on Monday 14th and then I can make up my mind.

Although I think I already know the answer…


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