Updated: Oct 13, 2018
How could this be happening?? Wasn’t there some rule in the universe that if you already went through one traumatic experience, you didn’t have to suffer through another?! Tears filled my eyes as I just sat there in silence. My mother had just broken the news to my sister and I that she had cancer.
She started explaining to us what type of cancer it was, and that she was going to do everything in her power to fight it. The bone cancer she had was Lypo Sarcoma and it was stage 2. When she first found the lump in her hip, she had my “Mimi” (my dad's mom), feel her hip for her to try and identify what she thought it might be. She decided to go to the doctor to get it checked out. Because she worked out a lot, they told her that they thought it was just an enlarged muscle. My mom was limping a lot and the lump kept growing, and was not going away, so they decided to do a biopsy on it. There was about 8-12 weeks in between her initial check up and the biopsy. The day that she had the biopsy, my “Mimi” and my Aunt Judi (Mimi’s sister) came to Kansas City for it. My “Mimi” stayed with my siblings and I, while my Grandpa, “Gigi” (mom’s mother), and my Aunt Judi all went with my mother to the biopsy. They did the biopsy, and that is when they found out it was cancer.
I could not believe something like this was affecting my family again. As if losing one parent wasn’t hard enough, we now had to endure the pain of watching our mother suffer through cancer. After losing a loved one, death and losing another loved one becomes something that you constantly fear. All of my worst nightmares were suddenly coming true.
The news spread quickly at school that my mother had cancer. That is when the cards, kind words, food and everything else started to flood in. Our lives suddenly had been altered again, and all we could do was keep moving forward. Our community of prayer warriors that had my mother’s back, and that prayed for my family continuously, was immense and continued to grow as the news kept spreading about my family.
My grandparents were also our family’s rock! My grandparents on my mom’s side would feed us dinners most nights, while my grandpa would drive us to school in the mornings. My Mimi only lived an hour and a half away from us and was very supportive as well by driving down and staying with us whenever my mother needed her to.
My family was extremely lucky to have two sets of incredible grandparents that dropped everything to be there for my family.
As the chemo treatments began, my mom slowly started to lose her hair. I specifically remember the day that my mom got sick of having patchy hair, so she let my sister cut it off with scissors. My sister used to want to be a hairstylist, so of course Ashley loved getting to help “Style” my mother’s hair.
My mom went out and bought a super cute short brown wig that she wore around. As the months wore on, my mom was quickly realizing that the hospital was her second home. Even though my mom spent a lot of her days either in bed at home from being exhausted due to her treatments, or at the hospital.
She still managed to make her children feel special and would continuously put her pain aside and put us first. I am still in awe of my mother's strength and for being a true example of what being a mother means.
My mother showed her loved for us in many ways, but there was one birthday, in particular, that I remember, where my mother went above and beyond. She used her computer to shop online and purchase all of my birthday gifts and also purchased a cute birthday cake for me and we had my birthday celebration in my mother’s hospital room. My mother never ceased to amaze me with her strength and love for us kids.
Sometimes we all get so caught up in the little, unimportant things, and how we have to have the best birthday celebration, or the newest iPhone. I can tell you, hands down, that celebrating my birthday in the hospital, with all of my loved ones surrounding me, is still one of my favorite birthdays. I celebrated it with people that loved me and a mom that made it extra special.
To all of you that are caught up in the little things, close your eyes, take a breath, and relax. Everything will work out just as it is supposed to. The most important thing for us in life is to hold onto is one another, because at the end of the day, that is all we have.