This post is really special for me to be able to share since it (hopefully) is the last in my unintended series on my mother having cancer (see the beginning and her diagnosis). It seemed fitting that my mother have the opportunity to shut that door so I was really happy when she agreed to write this for me. I only added a few notes of my own, which you’ll see in italics.
Kate asked me to write a few words for her blog and even though she is much more eloquent than me I’ll try. Kate has been amazing all through this illness and recovery, always showing up when I needed her and keeping me laughing when I needed to laugh more than anything. And bringing me endless cups of sweet tea to quell the nausea (I had a lot of help with those sweet tea runs! I think every one of my friends was under strict instructions that if they came to my house they should come with sweet tea in hand).
We’ve had our moments through this mess. She was with me when the surgical resident flounced into my room and announced “this is not a metastasis”. He really did flounce – it was all we could do to keep from laughing out loud (It was a total “I’m a surgeon and I’m here to save the world!” kind of flounce).
Kate and a couple of other really good friends were there when I was in a narcotic induced stupor after a procedure and they nearly laughed themselves onto the floor at our conversation. It was Kate that I sent to beg, borrow, or steal girl scout cookies that seemed to also deal with the nausea. Yes, I corrupted a former girl scout . Or maybe a girl scout in remission (cancer joke!).
I wish you could have seen her face when I asked her and her retired military dad if they would help me get weed if I needed it for the nausea. Appalled doesn’t quite sum it up. My son on the other hand let me know he’d get it if I needed it. I never did, but it was fun watching their faces.
Kate has been wonderful and if anything this has brought us closer together but honestly, next time we want to feel closer let’s take a cruise, vacation or anything other than cancer (agreed!).
If you are asking yourself “how does anyone get through this?” it’s a valid question and I can only tell you what works for me.
First your brain protects you. There is only a certain amount you can process cognitively and then it shuts down and says “no more”.
Then you decide there is only one way to survive: one day at a time. It takes all your energy to make it through each day and you have none left to sit around worrying about what if, what if the chemo doesn’t work, what if we run out of options, etc.
Finally, when those thoughts creep in you have to remind yourself that you gave this big ugly nasty problem up to a higher power and you trust and believe with all your being that God will take care of it. And He did!
I’m so thankful to have been able to share this post with you, and glad my mother was willing to write it. She was told she was completely cancer free just two weeks ago. Her hair is growing back in really quickly and she’s already had her first hair appointment.
(all photos in this post are courtesy of Erika. I now feel guilty about calling her a soup nazi)
If you have any questions for my mother please feel free to leave them here and either she’ll answer them herself or I will ask her for the answer and send it your way. It can be cancer-related or just general mom questions (I’m not biased, but I think she’s a pretty stellar mom so..). Or feel free to just leave her some love, she likes that too!