Although I have been guilty of over-sharing on here before, I haven’t spoken much about this personal subject.
And I’m not asking for your sympathy, no matter how sincere.
I just had this on my mind and wanted to unload.
Most of you know that my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in September of last year.
Because she’s an overachiever, she skipped right past stages 1-3.
That’s like skipping to the last page in a novel and finding out who the killer was without reading the story. Except, in this case, the killer is your own body and the novel is your life story.
Anyway, my mom has been doing really awesome the last year or so. She’s a fighter and had faith that God would heal her.
She has consistently defied the odds.
The cute little female Indian oncologist she has told her in May that she had already lived longer than most patients with this type of cancer. Usually, they succumb to the disease before they finish their first round of chemo. Few make it six months. Her doctor said recently that she had never had a patient make it to the third round of chemo.
My mom has completed 3 rounds.
She has even had 2 doses of a fourth round.
All without the adverse side affects that normally accompany chemotherapy.
She has also had relatively little pain, which we have all been thankful to God for.
She has had approximately 55 blood transfusions during her battle with cancer, which I’m pretty sure legally makes her a vampire.
It says so in the Constitution.
But seriously, please donate blood. Mom would not have survived this long without the precious blood transfusions she’s received.
Over the weekend, my mom was admitted to the hospital. She had been weak and experiencing a lot of pain. They ran some tests and determined that she was bleeding out internally, partially due to the cancer spreading and growing, and partially due to the Coumadin she was taking for a blood clot that had recently developed in her leg. They decided to keep her in the hospital for a few days, and give her some blood. They ran more tests.
Her oncologist came in after her CT scan and said that the cancer is worse and spreading, and at this point, the chemo is doing more harm than good. She told my mom it was time to stop the chemo and focus on quality of life versus quantity. They also stopped the Coumadin when she was admitted and decided they weren’t going to restart that and would take their chances with the blood clot, which is the least of her worries at this point. They were able to get the bleeding under control, and get her blood counts up enough that she was able to be discharged home.
The doctor wants her to start hospice.
My mom is 66.
Never had a drop of alcohol.
The woman is a SAINT!
She has been a wonderful mom and an even better grandma to my kids.
She is one of the nicest persons I know, and not just because she is my mom.
Now, my teenage self might have disagreed with that last statement, but only because he was kind of a dick.
Most people, who know my mom, love her.
She is a special person.
The kind that would give you the shirt off her own back. Not that you would want her to take her shirt off. You pervert!
Describing my mom to those who don’t know her is no easy task. I think that those who do know her would agree with this list of traits:
Highly intelligent, very quick-witted, humorous, big hearted, great moral compass, very compassionate, outgoing, cheerful, excellent judge of character and yet not judgmental, woman of strong faith, humble, on and on and on.
I really can’t even begin to list all her good traits.
So let me list a few of the bad……..Just kidding.
The number of lives my mom has touched in her short time here is innumerable. And really, even she has no idea.
She has been a witness and an inspiration throughout her battle with this disease to those that know her.
She has never whined or complained or gotten angry with God.
And her concern for the well-being of others has never wavered.
When my mom was admitted, they put her in Peds because all the other beds were full. The place eventually emptied out, and on the last day my mom was there, it was only her and some 16 year old kid. The 16 year old ended up getting the same news my mom got. The old, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing else we can do. You just have to go home and wait to die” talk. My mom was devastated for HIM. Everybody that came to see her after that, she asked them to pray for that 16 year old. Not her.
THAT is the type of woman my mom is.
And although I am not giving up on her yet, and am in no hurry for her life to end, I am cherishing every moment she has left.
I told my sisters, the time for tears will come after she is gone.
Now, we laugh.