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Do You Realize?

Posted by Ken in Articles, Ruminations (September 23, 2009 at 9:51 pm)

I was going to post something on Twitter, but seeing as how I’m “Funny all of the time” over there, it didn’t feel right to urinate on anyone’s festivities by bringing my own private reality into the fun & games.

Still, in this digital, bloggy, sharing age, I did feel like making some kind of missive, mainly because I just want to slice open my heart and let the pent up emotion bleed out. I’ve made a joker of myself on podcasts, webcasts, interviews, in writing, on panels, in person - it’s what I do. And it’s what I like doing. If there’s a grade of entertainer below “Z”, I’m probably it. One of those bizarre “web personalities” people keep yammering on about.

But keep in mind - no one has to read this.

I just feel like writing it.

My mother is dying.

I’ve known for the past year that this would most likely be the outcome of her breast cancer’s brutal return, but who wants to process the information when the delusion of a cure, or a medical fluke, still remains a comfortable dream that allows for one to go about their life, trying to believe nothing has changed…

Like a fool.

A selfish fool.

In the past week, things have gotten far worse, and reality has come crashing through the fa├žade.

I want to thank each and every one of you that took time to send postcards after her diagnosis last year. Each arrival was a delight for her, proving the power of the internet to shrink the world and make the life of a single person significant.

There’s a lot I want to write about my mother, but I can’t do it right now. I don’t want to do it right now. One day, I will.

I’ve had a song playing in my head for the past week. I debated whether to share this - some might view it as silly. I don’t care, really - I did this for my mother. Right now, she’s still here. And I’m going to go be with her. And show her this:

All I ask is - go give someone you love a hug. And don’t let go.


PS - Fuck cancer.



15 Responses to “Do You Realize?”

  1. Steve Says:

    Hoping for a miracle. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  2. Julian Gough Says:

    Oh Ken, you made me cry. OK, I realise. I’ll have to wait till everybody wakes up. But I’ll give hugs.

    Good luck, best wishes, and all that useless human stuff, from way over here, to you and your mom.


  3. Alisha (Iruka_Yuywell) Says:

    *hugs* I’ll keep a candle lit for her. You and you’re family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    I lost my friend and boss last year to ovarean yeah, FUCK CANCER!

  4. Jason Says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear this Ken, I really am. There is a million words of hope that I would like to impart to you, but right now I feel that they would not be nearly enough.

    Cancer has hit more than one member of my family, the latest being my sister. The doctors discovered that she had thyroid cancer and has had multiple surgeries to eliminate it with success, at a cost. She has had massive scarring around the surgical scars to a point to where it has paralyzed her vocal chords. She is also slowly losing her ability to breathe because of it. The doctors have given her the option of surgery on the vocal chords but this will most definitely leave her almost completely mute. Through all of it all I could say is “Just stay positive sis, it’ll get better” and “get another opinion”. I can honestly say now that I felt so fucking helpless and still do.

    Cancer is a killer, another part of the darkness of the world. It serves no purpose but to destroy. Even the lowliest parasites serve a purpose, even if to feed it’s parasitic young. But cancer serves no purpose, just a bunch of confused cells, doing what they think they’re supposed to. There is a metaphor in that statement that applies to so many people of the world today, but that’s another story.

    I know how you feel right now, more than you could ever know. I’ve been dealing with the fact that my mom is aging quickly and she’s suffering a depression that makes mine look like a momentary frown in a crowd of smiling people. I’m trying to cope with the fact that the only person that has ever constantly stuck by me and supported me no matter what is fading like a flower before my eyes. I have no idea what I’ll do when the one person that has always been my number one fan passes on. I will be so very lost. I’m trying to type this through tears just thinking about your situation, a situation that some day will most certainly mine as well. The only thing I can hope for is that my day will come before hers, and even thinking of that hurts because my mom would lose it.

    Anyways Ken, I didn’t come here to write my life story, but to comment on a sad chapter in yours. My heart goes out to you and your family and though I’m not religious, I will pray for you. You’re a funny man Ken and right now that is the best medicine for your mom. Be strong and shine your light for her.

  5. Unidentified Madman Says:

    I understand your pain. I lost my mother to devastating disease as well when I was 15. My girlfriend lost her mother to breast cancer about 6yrs ago. It’s not easy to watch them suffer and letting go is even harder. Keeping the good memories alive will get you by. Eventually the pain goes lessens and you learn to honor them by carrying on the best parts of them in your own life and sharing that with those you encounter.

    I know none of this will be of any consolation right now. Just know that you are not alone in this. Pain shared is pain lessened. I’m glad you shared this with us and know you just may have made a difference in someone else’s life.

  6. Mallory Says:

    I’m really sorry to hear this Ken, I’ll keep you and your mom in my thoughts.

  7. Albert Wiltfong Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

    Cancer sucks.

  8. dtcb Says:

    Hi Ken,

    Really sorry to hear your mom’s cancer has come back.

    The best people seem to have the hardest roads to take.

    Best of hope and comfort to her.

  9. Sir_Racer Says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, Ken.

    You and your family will be in my thoughts.

    And fuck you, cancer!

  10. Aaron Says:

    If you ever want to talk about it bud, please feel free to vent on me.
    Sometimes it helps to let it out.

  11. JJ Hawkins Says:

    Having lost my Dad to cancer stuff, I have a lot of sympathy for you Ken. I am hereby sending you a cyber hug. We all have a lot of love for you and wish you the best possible in this most dreadful of times.

  12. Dom Says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. Lanaia Says:

    Oh Ken, I was so sorry to hear this. It made me tear up. I know what you feel.

    I lost my mom two years ago and it is the worst club you could ever belong to. Big hugs! Spend as much time with her as possible and take care of yourself during this difficult time.

  14. pjwaldron Says:

    Within the span of just a few years, I lost both of my parents to cancer. My mom had breast cancer which was successfully beaten back for years before returning, and my father had the same experience with prostate cancer. During my father’s final months, two of my brothers and I took turns as pretty much 24/7 caretakers. It was hard to see the big, strong guy I had always known be too weak to get himself out of bed. I never thought I’d be able to do some of the things we had to do for dad, and there were some heartbreaking moments, but when it’s your loved one, somehow you just do it. I don’t think we were very good at it, but he was clearly surprised and deeply moved that we would.
    I have no platitudes to offer; I know from experience that none of them do any good. Hopefully you’ll have the opportunity to spend time with her before you’re gone. If distance or work prevent it, maybe you can just talk with her or write her a note. If she’s beyond reading or speech, then just send her some positive waves. If she’s like my parents, anything and everything that lets her know you care will be cherished.
    When my mother knew recovery was finally out of the question, she wrote each of my 4 brothers and I our own personal farewell letter on a greeting card. Mine’s framed and on my dresser. Every once in a while I take it apart and read it again. I’m glad she did it.
    Sorry this is so long. What I’m saying is it will suck, and nothing I or anyone else can say will make it suck less. And for a while her illness will be the first thing you think of when you think of your mother. But you’ll eventually come out the other side and find a way to think past the cancer, back to the healthy mother that you want to remember, and that’s what will stick (like my card). It doesn’t seem possible now, but trust me on that one.
    Thanks for sharing. Take care. Peace.

  15. TomHarrington Says:

    I’m so sorry, Ken. I’ve lost a few people to cancer, my father included. I’m always trying to be funny, too, and words of condolence don’t come easy for me. I hope comfort finds it’s way to you and yours. Hang in there, bud.

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