My mom has cancer.
She was diagnosed about two weeks ago. Not only does my mother have to deal with the emotional aspects of such a dreaded diagnosis, but the physical treatment as well. In the hospital, she received twelve units of blood because her hemoglobin levels were life-threateningly low. She's undergone a chemotherapy treatment and daily radiation. And this is just the beginning - all of this will continue for six to eight weeks.
I didn't know how to blog about this. I mean, after "My mom has cancer," what else is there? It turns out, there's plenty.
My mom has been staying with us for the past week, and I've been watching her closely. I've been looking for the signs that mean I have to take her back to the hospital. I've been checking with her a million times each day to see if she's nauseas or tired. Is she sleeping well? Does she need medicine for pain? For a headache? Is she hungry?
In watching her, I've noticed my mother is exhausted. But even more than that, I've been reminded of just how strong she is. She hasn't had the breakdown I expected. In fact, she feels lucky. Lucky she didn't bleed to death two Sundays ago. Lucky she's not the 38-year-old woman we met at the cancer center this week. Lucky she's not taking one of her children for radiation, like the young mom we see each day. Lucky her cancer's not worse...
And so she's fighting. With all she has. She's getting up each day and letting her doctors poison and burn her body, so the cancer goes away. She's scared, but she's plowing ahead anyway. Her strength makes me, her scared little girl, have hope. It gives me the certainty that she will beat this.
Fight it, Mom. Fight like the girl you are. I'm right next to you, battling on your side. Besides, you've already won. Cancer has nothing over you.