Print

RN Jobs >> Browse Articles >> General Health

+4

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis Challenges Bond with Son

Mom's Cancer Diagnosis Challenges Bond with Son

Georgea Kovanis / Detroit Free Press

November 09, 2008

Mary Graham, a nursing aide who travels from home to home bathing people too ill to care for themselves, knows how sickness works – the way it sneaks up on the unsuspecting and tries to steal their breath away.

She does her best to make her patients comfortable, but when that’s no longer possible, when they are ready to let go and slip past sickness into the solitude of death, many of them whisper her name. She sits with them, holds their hands, says a prayer and sheds a few tears. Then, she moves on to the next person who needs her. “I’m thinking I was put on this earth to take care of others,” she has said more than once.

Maybe because she has seen so much of it, maybe because she knows it is a sorry but inevitable part of life, Mary has never been afraid of sickness – until now.

Everything is different now.

For the first time in her life, she is sick.

It’s cancer.

Even though she doesn’t like to admit it and doesn’t like to ask, she’s the one who needs help this time.

Alone at the hospital

It is a soft, rainy morning in the middle of June and Mary, who is 52 and has a stocky build and is strong enough to lift her patients out of their beds, suddenly looks tiny, sitting on a chair in the corner of a pre-op room at Providence Hospital in Southfield.

She drove here alone from the Detroit home she shares with her 22-year-old son, Fareed Brandon Graham. It has been just the two of them all these years; Dad moved out when Fareed was a baby. Mary kept her son in school – his high school graduation pictures are on display in her china cabinet. And she kept him safe. And she got him his first job, at a Meijer store, because she called a manager and said her son was a good kid who needed work. Once, when he was a boy, she allowed him to accompany her on a movie date. He sat in the seat between her and her male friend – who never asked her out again.

Fareed is struggling to cope with his mother’s diagnosis. He has an idea what the disease might do to her because he’s seen its wrath before. It killed the lady who lived next door. It killed his aunt and his cousin. His friend’s mother just died from it – went from being healthy and happy to a memory. Fareed hopes. He prays. He tries to tell himself everything will be OK because Mary is stubborn and because, like most children no matter what their age, he doesn’t want to imagine life without his mother. But more nights than not, he dulls his worry and soothes his fear with tequila and vodka and by the time he returns home, his mother is asleep and he can go to his room without having to see her.

Mary knows Fareed is scared, though she doesn’t find out about the drinking until later. She’s scared, too, but she tries not to show it. Often quick to tears – sometimes she’ll cry watching a contestant lose the showcase showdown on “The Price is Right” – she has wept about the cancer only twice so far. Once after a support group meeting; she was overwhelmed by the concern the other women had for her. And once earlier in June when her surgery was postponed and she felt unimportant to her doctor. She hasn’t cried in front of Fareed. If he sees her upset, he’ll become even more afraid and that, she decided, won’t do anybody any good.

One of the hospital’s pre-op nurses tells Mary to get undressed and slip on a paper gown and climb onto the bed so they can hook her up to tubes and give her intravenous medicine to make her drowsy. A cousin, who has the day off, stops by and she and Mary say a prayer. Three nursing aides from Visiting Nurse Association, which is where Mary worked before she went on sick leave, drop in and bring her up to date on office gossip. They joke that she might become one of their patients once she’s out of the hospital. And they laugh. “You all made my day,” Mary tells the women when it’s time to leave.

The last thing she hears is the smooth jazz that’s piped into the operating room. Kenny G, she thinks. Mary loves Kenny G.

The doctor cuts away part of her right breast – lumpectomy surgery – and tries to remove the cancer that is growing inside.

Fareed, who has been at the funeral of his friend’s mother, is on his way to the hospital.


+4
  • Ssss_max50

    ashleywillaims12

    about 1 month ago

    8 comments

    BUY DATABASE FAKE PASSPORT BRITISH(UK) DIPLOMATIC CANADIAN FALSE ID CARD ONLINE
    High Quality data base registered Fake Passports , Id Cards, Drivers License, visas, school diploma, school certificates ,Buy counterfeit,real fake passport drivers licence id card.
    Get Data base registered Fake Passports, fake id card, fake drivers license, Get Database Fake US Passport, Buy Fake Uk passport, Buy Fake Canadian Passport, Fake Australian...
    Get Fake US Passport,Fake Uk passport, Fake Canadian Passport, Fake Australia Passport, High Quality data base registered Fake Passports , Id Cards, Drivers License, visas, school diploma, school certificates ,Buy counterfeit,real fake passport drivers licence id card..
    Get A second Chance In Life with New Identity protect your privacy, build new credit history, bypass criminal background checks, take back your freedom . It's a cruise, safari or just a week on a sunny beach that you want, you have come to the right place for all your travel needs. Let us help you plan the ideal trip for you if you would like to find out more about the services we have available..We are unique producers of Authentic High Quality Fake passports, Real Genuine Data Base Registered Fake Passports and other Citizenship documents. I can guarantee you a new Identity starting from a clean new genuine Birth Certificate, ID card, Driver’s License, Fake Passports, Social security card with SSN, credit files, and credit cards, school diplomas, school degrees all in an entirely new name issued and registered in the government database system..
    -I DO OFFER A LEGITIMATE SERVICE:
    I offer a service to help you through to meet your goals, we can help you with:
    •Getting real government issued ID under another identity,
    •A new social security number (verifiable with the SSA),
    •Checking and saving accounts for your new ID,
    •Credit cards
    •Relocation
    •Passports, Diplomatic passports,novelty passports
    •Production and obtaining new identification documents. .Fake Cash, Fake Money, Fake Dollars, High quality Fake Money for sale. .
    Coaching services available.... My contacts include ex private investigators, consulates,high ranking government personnels and experienced seasoned experts, I have solid connections with higher personnel's on all areas of identity and passport change in these Countries who are linked to the passport agency in each of these countries and with the help of their connections,Not even an expertise custom official or machine can ever dictate the document as fake since the document is no different from Real government issued! All our Real genuine data base Registered citizenship documents have your personal data registered in the data base system and 101% machine readable.Feel free to get the additional detailed information about our services. Sincerely hope to find a way to cooperate with you.If any of these products interest you, please feel free to contact us. We will give you our best price upon received of your detailed inquiry.

    Kindly contact us by E-mail, Using the following addresses below.We will respond to your inquiry within 24hrs.
    Please note that your e-mail to us will be SECURE! All Inquiries contacts for your..
    ...........
    Contact EMAIL?..; documentshaji@gmail.com

    Telephone:.........................0023799891072

    Skype....................haji.mustapher

    Contact EMAIL? camagrafruits@hotmail.com

    E-Mail Your Questions and Comments. Looking forward to your favorable and early reply!
    Yours Faithfully,

    To get the additional information and place the order just visit our email team. buy, get, fake, false, passport, passport, id, card, cards, uk, sell, online, canadian, british, sale, novelty, conterfeit, bogus, american, united, states, usa, us, italian, malaysian, australian, documents,idetity, idetification, driver, license, licence, driving, residence, permit, SSN fake passport id, free fake passport, identity theft, fake, novelty, camoflauge, passport, anonymous, private, safe, travel, anti terrorism, international, offshore, banking, id, driver, drivers, license, instant, online, for sale, cheap, wholesale, new identity, second,citizenship, identity, identification, documents, diplomatic, nationality, how to, where to, get, obtain, buy, purchase, make, build, a, passport, i.d., british, honduras, uk, usa, us, u.s., canada, canadian, foreign, visa, swiss, card, ids, document, getting, visas, cards, foriegn ..

  • Dsc_0036-2_max50

    momofboygirltwins03

    about 6 years ago

    42 comments

    Great story! Sad, made me think of my mom and how right now she's having troubles because of her diabetes, the 1st major thing that happens to her and I am leaving Nevada and going to Washington to care/help care for her. Now I am going to go cry :(

  • 100_0100_max50

    mramsey40

    about 6 years ago

    422 comments

    Very sad story. Shame that support groups are not reccomended for her son. It would probably help him to realize that he is not alone in his fear. I wish them both the best

  • Mickeymouseclubhouse_240_max50

    kstiltner1

    about 6 years ago

    7170 comments

    Sad

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    about 6 years ago

    Very sad story

  • 1230623w131_sq90_max50

    gospellove772003

    about 6 years ago

    1252 comments

    wow that brought tears to my eyes it tells me to me appreciate my parents while they live im lucky my fathers is only a diabetic an that his condition has never worsoned, im truly blessed and i will cherish every moment i have with my family good or bad.

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a nursing or healthcare degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.