For the last few months we’ve had to deal with some hard truths in my family.
My mom has cervical cancer. She has one 1-ft mass and another, smaller, one in her body.
This whole ordeal started on my 23rd birthday as my mom was rushed to the hospital by the girl who lives with us in the early hours of the a.m. She was in incredible pain. The doctors at that hospital didn’t really give her the time of day (we don’t have health insurance) and she scheduled an appointment with a specialist after getting some massive pain meds. Through the appointments, the scans, and the biopsies, we found out it was cancer.
My mom turns 50 in April. This is incredibly scary for me. Not the turning 50 thing, but the realization that on Monday morning (the 25th) she goes in for surgery and might not make it out. She’s super optimistic about the whole thing, brushing off whims of danger as if she were Jay-Z and they were simply dust on her shoulder. I’m optimistic, but wary…careful. This is a big deal.
Throughout this experience I’ve dove into some video games with the sole purpose of not thinking about this thing. Tomb Raider, Fallout: New Vegas, and Mass Effect 3 have kept me plenty occupied in times where I need to escape. Hospitals freak me out and make me nervous. My mom was in one for 5 days when they found out she had diabetes a few weeks ago. They had to acclimate her body to the insulin and get her blood sugar to the right levels. It’s supposed to be between 70-110. It was 366 the day she checked in. They don’t know if this is a side effect of the masses or what, but we got everything worked out. I visited her once or twice and bought her some presents (A gurlfriends card and some beach wisdom from Cracker Barrel 😀 ), but mostly I stayed home while others visited her because looking at her in a hospital bed freaked me out so much.
I don’t want to lose my mom.
So again, I dove into video games. Logging hundreds of hours over multiple titles. These games kept me sane. They kept me in a place where it was OK to be scared, but that eventually, good wins out. I wasn’t worrying about day to day things. I wasn’t worried about surgeries, or medicines, or hospitals. I was free.
On March 26th, the day after my mom’s major surgery to get everything removed and fixed, I’ll be playing BioShock: Infinite. That’ll be my coping mechanism for the week. This time she’ll be in the hospital for longer, so I’ll visit her more often (she keeps telling me that she understands, but she loves it when I’m around because I make inappropriate jokes around the hospital staff and that makes her laugh). It’s just good to know that there’s a place for me when I need it. This moment’s place is a city in the early 1900’s called Columbia. Should I get too stressed out or worried, it will be my home.
This is why I play video games.