After the jump... (No one died, but this does discuss death)

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My mother called today. Apparently she was in the hospital over the weekend. She didn't tell me she went in on Friday because she didn't want to worry me. It was my birthday on Friday and I was going out with friends to celebrate for the first time ever, and she didn't want to ruin it. She told my brothers not to tell me either.

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She sounds fine now, but I'm really triggered and kind of scared. She said a zit developed into what sounds like some kind of massive cyst, which apparently exploded. She said half her face was really messed up. Apparently the hospital had her on IV antibiotics all weekend.

She says she looks more normal now, and it's getting better every day. She's meeting with a doctor sometime today to talk about follow up and what happens next.

Guys, I'm terrified. For so many reasons.

My dad died a year and a half ago from SURPRISE!cancer, after being diagnosed only three months before. It was devastating, but we stayed strong, as strong as you could hope in the face of losing the best father.

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I can't do that again, GT. I can't lose her too. We've always been very close, and we're even closer after taking care of dad and the aftermath. This could have been really bad. An infection that big, on her face, is terrifying. It could have been so much worse.

I have so many thoughts, and some of them seem so trivial but also so serious at the same time. She doesn't have insurance, I don't know how she can afford 3 days in the hospital, even if she's generally been ok financially. She's so pretty in a lady-next-door way, people don't realize she's 50. She was getting hit on by a 40 year old at work last week. It's shallow, but I don't want my mom to have to cope with an extreme change in her looks. She has enough on her plate. And more than anything, I can't deal with losing another parent, and this just brings back so much of the same helpless feeling.

I don't really know what I'm asking for or why I'm writing this, but I needed to tell someone.