Difficult Conversations

(For a little additional background, here’s a post with links and stuff: Distractions)

I talked to my parents last weekend.

“We told your grandmother.”

I told them of Hansland, and how I will be blogging about this saga (within limits, of course). Dad seemed a little surprised, as I hadn’t mentioned the site. I think he liked the idea of having a place where I could collect and disseminate information to the family, and they both agreed it was okay.

Monday morning, my cell phone rang. It was my little sister.

“I need someone to talk to me, to tell me what’s going on. What are they going to do? Why won’t the doctors just take a biopsy? I need someone to give me straight answers, and I can only get that from my big sister. I know you won’t bullshit me.”

Here we go.

I spent the next 20 minutes explaining how I thought they would do the biopsy, and how they could choose to do the biopsy if they wanted to remove the tumor immediately and start limb salvage at that time. She wanted to know what the chances were it wasn’t cancer. I told her I wasn’t sure, but it didn’t look good. I used this as an opportunity to remind her to follow Wheaton’s Law, to listen to her doctors, to ask questions, to find advocates and others who can help her navigate this new reality, to take care of herself.

Possibly the highlight of the entire conversation:

Me: “If the biopsy comes back, and it is malignant, they will take that part of your leg. They may have to take your knee, too. BUT! If they take your knee, they will give you a new Terminator knee! You will be CYBORG JENI. Wait a minute. Which leg is it? I’ve always gestured using my right leg, but no one seems to know!”

Jeni (formerly B): “The right leg. My driving leg. OF COURSE.”

Me: “Sweet! That should give you another excuse when a cop pulls you over for your chronic leadfoot. ‘But officer, my prosthetic knee locked! I couldn’t get off the gas!’ Who would give you a ticket after hearing that?”

Jeni: *laughing*

Yes, I am using her real name. I told her of Hansland, too. She is fine with this site, and has made this public, and it is silly to think you wouldn’t be able to find out my sister’s name.

I’ll be honest. My sister and I have always fought. Always. It’s embarrassing. After about 48 hours, we tend to start grating on each other’s nerves. She’s asked me to come and stay with her – to help out, to keep her entertained, to be there when she needs me. It may be a week or two. It may be more.

I’ll do it. Without hesitation.

March 21st is when she meets with the doctor, to find out the plan. No diagnosis until biopsy. No diagnosis until biopsy. No diagnosis until biopsy.