I haven't been to Buffalo for a month and, much as I dread it, I have slipped into that numb state of mind where I just pretend that all of the dread and pain doesn't exist. I've actually become quite adept at avoiding any thought of death or cancer or....Nonna. The worst part is that in my search for solace from this raw, gaping wound, I have shut her out as well. When was the last time I called her just to make sure she ate a good breakfast, or to tell her that I love her?
I am a horrible person.
I am a selfish person.
Tomorrow I will call her and gauge her reaction when I hint of coming up for a visit. This time last week I should've been in Buffalo with my sister loving her and taking care of her. However, a combination of winter storms, illness, and other circumstances prevented that. Those other circumstances were simply that my Nonna didn't want us to come...doesn't want to be a burden on anyone now that she's starting to loose control of bodily functions and needs more and more care. Is it even possible to put into words how much I hate this? How much I want to tell her that it would be a joy and an honor to take care of her when she can't take care of herself? How I desire so badly to be her support now that, at the very end, her immense strength is finally leaving her?
When I spoke with my sister right after we found out that her flight was cancelled and the trip itself was cancelled, she mentioned how there are some animals who, when they know they are dying, will separate themselves from everyone and die alone. I pray that this is not what she is doing in the attempt to not be the burden she's so nervous of becoming.
Yet, despite the doom in my heart, her MRI results showed that the evil tumor in her pancreas has not grown. What does this mean? The cancer is not growing, but her strength continues to wane? Everything is so vague and so uncertain. Is it the chemoradiation that is destroying her body more than the cancer at this point? I don't know. I don't know how much longer she has on this earth. I don't know how I will deal with her passing, whenever it happens.
But, I do know that I will call her tomorrow. And I will tell her that I love her.