My mom was diagnosed with skin cancer last week. This is her second bout with the ugly monster after surviving cancer-free for over 10 years. She is not coping with the news very well. They took a sample of the questionable spot on her cheek and will remove the rest of the tissue just before Thanksgiving. She will have a 2-inch scar. I don't have much doubt that she'll survive the cancer and the procedure is not too invasive. She and my dad won't be bothered by the scar as they will simply be happy she's alive.
My mom has struggled with some mental issues over the years too. I'm not sure exactly what her condition is, but it's somewhere between anxiety, depression, and slight schizophrenia. She's been on medication for as long as I remember. When I was in 5th grade she was hospitalized for a month after her mental state deteriorated to such an extent that she was not really functional - with irrational anxiety and thoughts. That was one of the toughest times in my life as I was still quite young and relied very much on her.
The cancer scare seems to have triggered another round of this irrational anxiety/thought. My grandmother came to visit from 4 hours away to try to straighten my mom out and get her back to normal. Her influence helped fight off another similar incident five years ago. This time, my mom is still in her panicked state of mind most of the day. She has flashes of normalcy, but keeps returning to this bad place. Her doctor says she's improving, so all we can do is hope the battle inside my mom's head plays out well and fast.
This type of incident is why I'm headed home. Life is short. Things can happen in an instant that forever change your life. A week ago, my mom was perfectly fine - and now she has a 2nd round of skin cancer and is literally struggling to stay sane. Again, I have no doubt that she will overcome both the mental issues and the skin cancer - but the process is scary. I pray for her to get better soon.