Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Mom

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 smoked.
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.
She’s wonderful.
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.
For example:
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.


Unknown said...

Thanks, Ed. Beautiful tribute with some humor. Nancy will love this.

And well said in total.

Praying for you all...

Miss Yvonne said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom. I've told you this already, but I am very sorry.

ipenka said...

I am very sorry. This was beautiful.

With as loving of a family, I have no doubt the quality of life aspect will be the best it can be.

Coffeypot said...

Good job, Dude. I hurt for you, but had to giggle a few times, too. Be strong in your faith and love. I'll pray for her, too.

middle child said...

I don't know the situation but it sounds like your mom knows where she is going after this. I ask one thing though. Let your mother do as she wishes. Give strength to her voice. Support her and her decisions. Bless the both of you.

Moooooog35 said...

Very nice, my friend. Very nice.

Brutalism said...

You're so lucky to have the mom you did. And you're also lucky that your family gets through things with laughter. May this holiday season bring you lots and lots of laughter!

Angie said...

~hugs~ for your mom and a big HELL YEAH to those who donate blood. For anyone who hasn't done it before, it's actually pretty darn painless and you get a soda and a cookie just for laying there a few minutes. If you need to be competitive about it, you can race the person in the bed next to you to see who can fill a donation bag first. Do it.

Anonymous said...

Good on your mom for being the great person she obviously is. A great tribute.

trump said...

I'm just stopping by different type of blogs and thought id say hello folks. So greetings from an Amish community in Pennsylvania, and wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year. Richard from Amish Stories

BeckEye said...

Very nice tribute. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I hope you and your family has a wonderful holiday.

Momma Fargo said...

Wonderful tribute to your lovely mother. She is an inspiration of good in all people and I know you are proud of her. Your love is all over this post, even in your humor. Praying for Mom!


Forgotten said...

Good job, Ed. I'm sure your mama is very proud of you. I'll keep her in my prayers.

Much love to you and yours and your mama. She has to be a wonderful woman to laugh at your jokes. ;)

Anonymous said...

Dude, you got me crying at work. What an amazing post! Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman. So glad you value the time you have. Many don't.


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