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The little gray cloud looms

Yesterday just sucked.  I was in a panic worried about my sister all day long.  When I finally got home from work, I called my mom to see if she had any updates for me.  She said her doctor's office called her to make an appointment to discuss an anomaly with her mammogram.  So now she's all in a panic that she has breast cancer.  I told her that it's silly to be all stressed out and worked up before she even knows what is going on.  For all she knows, the image was blurry and they need her to do it again.  I am hoping that it's nothing serious and I'm reassured that they scheduled an appointment for a week from yesterday.  If it were awful, awful news wouldn't they want her to come in sooner?

Rachel's report card came in the mail yesterday and her grades went down in just about every subject.  Tonight is parent/teacher conferences so Steve is waiting to talk to the teachers before he talks to Rachel.  One thing that really stood out was a note from her music teacher indicating that she's been missing class.  Steve isn't sure if that's the class period during the school day or band practice after school.  Either way, I think she's in some serious trouble.  She went from high As to low Bs in terms of her grades and Steve is *not* happy.

Today on my drive to work I was thinking about my mom and her health issues.  She's lost over 100 pounds since she got her diabetes diagnosis.  She spent a couple weeks in the hospital last year with an infection that just wouldn't go away and since then she's been like a religious zealot about following her diet and taking all of her meds.  She's really good about controlling her blood sugar and her blood pressure but she still seems to have a lot of really off days.  Days when she just feels a little bit weird.  She complains about it but won't do the one thing that would pretty much guarantee better health for her: to quit smoking.  It's not like she doesn't know she should!  She's been making excuses for years. 

For awhile she'd gotten better-- smoking less and going outside when she did.  But lately, when I go up to her place with the kids for a visit, we come home smelling like smoke and it really pisses me off.  Last week when I took her and my dad to the fish market, she was smoking in the car with me-- her 8-months-pregnant daughter!  She had the window open but that doesn't mean I wansn't exposed to her smoke.  How many health scares does it take to get her to kick old RJ Reynolds to the curb?  Doesn't she want to live to see her grandkids grow up?  Hell, the only reason we still live in NJ is so that she can be near her grandchildren and if I have to keep them from her because she can't refrain from smoking around them, we might as well move halfway across the country!