She mentioned pain for the first time when my parents and I were on vacation in Florence, in the beginning of January. She did not want to go to a doctor but last week my dad had enough and forced her. It turned out that her liver is enlarged to the point where it's crushing other organs. She spend the week getting tests and heavy painkillers.
The prognosis is grim. She and my dad opted for chemo therapy which may lengthen her lifespan with a few months. I myself am not convinced this is the right decision but I don't feel it is my choice so I have not said anything. The chemo starts today. If she responds well she will be able to go home next week. If she responds badly she may die of the inability of her body to get rid of the toxins fast enough.
I have felt frozen since I first heard it and am still hovering around that point. I'm really glad to be able to go home and get my mind around things in my own way. I'm glad to have a complete life to go to, unlike my father who sees everything crumbling in front of his eyes. My brother and his family live close by and he relates to my brother much better than to me. I'm glad that the situation is like that. I will do what I can but it will mostly be in a practical sense. And I will be online pretty much as usual. A bit less I guess, but connecting with the virtual people is soothing.