October 25, 2008 by 8junebugs
I just had a difficult conversation with KidBrother, who’d just caught a Discovery program about Munchausen Syndrome. He thought maybe Mom was somehow making it up.
It’s not like he doesn’t have a logical reason for relating to the program. Mom does like sympathy. Once upon a time, she even told people that I had cancer. As she’s gotten older, her fabrications have gotten more outrageous, more baseless. She was never diagnosed as a pathological liar, but then, she was never diagnosed as a lot of things.
In this case, though, I’m afraid her imagination is less powerful than cancer. The cancer is real. Its growth in her liver is real. She may have questionable ways of explaining it — she may even tell my 80-year-old grandmother that the cancer is in remission. But I’ve talked to the oncologist, and this isn’t a drill.
I’ve been having a hard time with this news. It may be because I’m depleted and, apparently, getting a cold. But I haven’t rallied as well as I did when we got the initial diagnosis. We’ve all got our family roles, and mine is the wise-cracking smart ass who gets things done.
I’m a Thing Doer.
This time, though, it’s been a little harder to pull on my big girl panties and move forward. Might this have been the conversation I needed to slip back into my role? We’ll see. It ain’t fun to tell your little brother that she’s not making it up this time.
This time, it’s real.