The day mom went to the doctor for her bleeding was the beginning of the most difficult time our family has faced to date. My grandmother's stroke was tough but she passed only three short weeks after having that stroke. It was a blessing to know her suffering had ended.
As for my mother, don't ask me how but Mom and I both knew (My sister probably did, too but that's a whole other story. My mother probably didn't share what she was going through at that time with my brother.) what it meant but considering the very adamant "don't be negative" comments my father would yell, we didn't dare discuss it. I actually told her a few times "Don't go there. Not yet. Let the doctors tell us what is wrong." No supposition. At least that's what I kept telling myself.
Back to that day. The doctor scheduled my mother for an ultrasound. One thing is for sure, they didn't waste much time then. All those years, though, she kept going and not one single time was that suggested... But a 63 year old woman, who has gone through menopause, shows up bleeding and they kick it into high gear.
By the way? That bleeding? Doctors weren't thinking ovarian cancer at that point, either. Ovarian cancer doesn't usually cause vaginal bleeding... But then in all honesty, ovarian cancer isn't all that typical or do much of anything in a "usual" way. Hence the lack of accurate, reliable testing for it.
But I digress.
Mom's ultrasound was handled by two technicians. As God only can provide, one of the technicians had gone to school with my sister and they shared a mutual friend so when technician #1 left the room to grab a doctor, this mutual friend had a tough time talking to my mother. Conversation isn't supposed to lean toward what they're seeing but it was fairly obvious to my mother that something was wrong, seriously wrong. So...she asks. And the tech who knew of our family/knew my sister would only tell my mother that yes, they saw something on the ultrasound and it was big enough to block their view of her right ovary.
After that appointment, my mother called me almost in tears. I told her not to worry - not unless the doctor called her and wanted to see her right away. I kept praying it was just a cyst. Just a cyst, God... please...just a cyst.
But it wasn't to be. The doctor called and asked my mother to come in at 4:30 that afternoon. I asked her if she wanted me with her and she said yes. I left work and met my mother and my sister at Mom's doctor's offices. And that was when we learned she had an 11cm tumor on her right ovary.
The doctor referred my mother to a gynecological oncologist immediately, had her nurse call and push my mother into an appointment for that following week.
That was October 1, 2009. That was us getting to the top of a very big hill on the roller coaster. The ride down reminds me why I hate roller coasters...