Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Version of Mom's Story

As I mentioned in one of my first blogs, my sister and I - Team Rose Buds got our inspiration for participating in the 3-day walk to honor our mom, Rose, who was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 12 years ago. Looking back at mom’s battle she was truly a “Pink Warrior” because she did as most moms do and didn’t want to worry her children. 

In November of 1998 mom’s insurance was about to run out, and she decided before it ran out she needed to get a mammogram that was a few months overdue.  I really think she had a guardian angel pushing her in that direction knowing what the outcome would be. Because things happened so quickly, I don’t think it really sunk in when mom called and told us the news-she had breast cancer.
 
Mom’s cancer was detected early because of her screening mammogram.  She had a pencil-eraser size lump, and the biopsy that followed confirmed it. Mom’s doctor’s moved quickly to get her treated. Within a couple of weeks mom had a lumpectomy and lymph node removal as recommended by her physician.

The day of her surgery was a blur-I remember praying before her surgery, and no matter how strong Michele and I tried to be for mom that is when we lost it. Of course, mom straightened us out real quick and said it was going to be alright. Then I remember sitting in the waiting room with lots of other people until we got the word she was out of surgery.  After that Michele and I went to the cafeteria to pick at eat lunch and call our brothers and aunts and uncles to let them know the surgery went as well as expected. We then visited with mom for a little before letting her get much needed rest.

Originally, the doctor’s discussed doing out-patient surgery but because of mom’s diabetes they kept her overnight.  We took her home the next day, and mom being mom sent us back to our homes, which were about 90 miles away, to be with our families. I went and visited with my mom the next weekend. Mom was a real trooper- within two weeks of her surgery she had to attend a wedding that she was expected to do way more than she should have been doing, but mom being a good step-mother did what she had to.

A few weeks later mom began radiation. Mom being mom, of course, would not let on to us how tough things were for her.  Mom did have the support of a friend Helen who was also a breast cancer survivor. But mom doesn’t like to impose on others and later we found out many times mom would drive herself to and from radiation, and she now retells of story about finishing radiation treatments up and had to take her shoes off to walk to the car because she was so weak and exhausted she didn’t have the energy to lift a shoed foot off the ground.  My heart aches at what mom endured.

 As I have grown, matured, and I am no longer a prisoner of my life, I realize mom truly did battle this alone, and I am very grateful she had the attitude that “I have cancer; it doesn’t have me.”  Her attitude makes her the perfect picture of a PINK WARRIOR, even if pink isn’t one of her favorite colors; we are working on that, aren't we Michele?  :)

It is now Michele's and my opportunity to do something for our mom, but we know what Team Rose Buds will endure in the 3-day 60 mile walk is nothing compared to what mom has done for us! Thank you, Mom, for fighting "the fight." We are so blessed to still have weekly phone chats, and since we are older and wiser we know the difference between alright and ALRIGHT. Michele said she is happy  and grateful  your grandchildren have the opportunity to know and love their GRANNY!

We love you, MOM! 
 Mom with Lulu - the youngest grandchild.

Hugs and blessings,
Heidi

1 comment:

  1. That brought tears to my eyes...as I read your story all I could think of was my grandmother and how hard headed she can be sometimes..Thanks for reminding me that we all need to learn the difference between alright and ALRIGHT.

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