Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Looking back at 2009 I am floored at several things. The first being that it went by so fast. The second is that It was so momentus is so many ways. The third is that I still am blessed to have my mother alive.
Thanksgiving weekend of 2008 my mother discovered a breast lump. Being my mother she went straight to the doctor after the Thanksgiving holiday was over and had it biopsied. A few days before Christmas we learned it was cancerous. (this is Mom just before starting Chemo, with a hat I made for her)
Very shortly after the beginning of the year she had the lump, a few lymph-bodes and a small amount of tissue removed. The onocologist believed that she got all of it, but that did not negate the need for chemo.
My mother, with my Dad at her side every step of the way started chemo. The staff at the hospital were wonderful and my mother was treated very well, for which I am grateful. However, my mother developed an alergy to the primary chemo drug they were giving her and her health deteriorated rapidly. I talked to my Dad about it, I was worried because I did not think Mom could take much more before we might lose her. Fortunately, the onocologist concurred with Dad and they stopped the Taxol treatments at about the half-way point. She still finished the experimental chemo and then her sessions of radiation.
Somehow, she survived the cure, though she was fragile and weak. That said, she set about regaining her health. She took vitamins, ate healthy foods, started walking with Dad around the neighborhood, then exercising as she gained strength.
I cannot describe what it was like to learn that my mother had an extremely aggressive form of cancer, or how painful it was to watch the chemo slowly poison her, bit by bit until she was frightening frail. Or, to see the exhaustion in her eyes, deeper than any physical tirednees she has ever felt before. But God was merciful and she is cancer free and healthy and gaining strength and vitality everyday.
She walks a mile to Curves to work-out, then walks a mile home. She is once again lively, happy and busy. Oh, and did I mention that she is 74? She still has neuralgia in her hands, a lingering side effect of the Taxol, but even that is improving. Soon, she should be able to knit again. (the fingerless mitts helped keep her hands warm when she was in the house)
I learned a lot in 2009. I learned, to the deepest core of my being, that no matter how frightening it looks, God never leaves my side. I learned that my Dad is so strong that he makes the Rock of Gibralter look like shifting sand (Dad is wearing the blue shirt and standing with my nephew and cousin). I learned that my mother is tough. She identified her enemy, cancer, and then faced it down, doing her best to remain as cheerful as possible thoughout the whole ordeal.
I learned that I love my parents more than I ever thought possible and have been blessed to have them so long. Next year, 2011 they will celebrate their 50th Anniversary!
I pray that God blesses you as richly as He has blessed me!
Hugs & Prayers