[I wrote this post early in my mom's battle but waited to post it. Updates about my mom below]
I have put this post off for a long time,
not knowing where to start
not wanting to give it legitimacy
not wanting it to be a reality
but it is.
Cancer isn't new to my family. Grandparents on both sides battled it. In those cases I either wasn't born, I was young, or I was far away. I still grieve for these losses and for the effects it's had on those I love, but it always seemed a bit distant from me.
Until one day it let itself into my parent's house (the house where I grew up), took off it's shoes, and got cozy on the couch.
Cancer has become a reality now and no distance or age or denial can stop it.
My mother has breast cancer.
Those words hurt to write. They sting my eyes to read. I chose to write this in a public place so I didn't absolutely break down.
It started out with a lump that she found. A biopsy was ordered but they thought it might just be a bruise, a cyst.
I had forgotten about it briefly, and one day asked if she had heard from the doctor. I could tell that was the last thing my mom wanted to me ask. She had heard. And it was cancer.
After about a month now of tests, pokes and prods, new doctors and old doctors, her first chemo treatment is set for Monday.
I curse every mile that separates me from her. If I could quite my job and be there tomorrow I would. If I could hold her hand through every appointment and needle and tube I would. But the reality is is that I live many states away and it just isn't the right time to come home yet.
We joke about the possibility of loosing a boob and the likelihood of loosing her hair and I am simply in awe with my mother's strength, patience, and sense of humor. It's just boobs and hair and neither of them make us who we are.
I have joked that I would shave my head for her. But it's not really a joke. I would. We all struggle with the stuff that we think is important but really has no value to who we are really. We are not our boobs, or our hair, or bodies, or legs, or anything else that we can see. We are souls, and spirits, and hearts, and minds. We are the absolute loves of Jesus.
At the beginning I prayed this a lot, "Please Lord, do not take her away. She's my best friend." Then I prayed "Please Lord, heal her and take the cancer away." Now I find myself praying, "Please Lord, use this for your glory as I know and trust that it's all for your divine and beautiful will."
I'm scared. My dad and grandmother and those that love her are scared. My mom is scared. But what do we have to fear when God is in control?
We are all so optimistic about the days to come. My mom has fought a lot of things in her past and I am sure that this will just be one more thing whose butt my mom will kick! She's a tough lady. A woman who will wear a sexy wig in the coming months. A woman who will be tested but will find the power that she really does possess. A woman who's in for a fight, but will come out stronger than ever. She is a woman I adore and admire and thank God for, every day.
Since I wrote this, my mom has gone through two chemo treatments. Her hair has fallen out and I'm sure she looks just has beautiful as ever! I am going home a week from today and I'm counting down the minutes. If the only thing we do for a week is snuggle on the couch and talk, then it will be the best week ever.