life. is. good.
I have posted a few quick snaps of my mama on my Instagram over the past few years, but it has been a long while since I have blogged about her. It has been just over four years since her diagnosis of stage 4 anal cancer. When she first got the diagnosis she told her doctors that she didn’t want any numbers, statistics which meant I didn’t get any more information. I can still remember clear as day one of the night’s that I brought her to St. Peter’s Hospital, got her up in her room, and was talking to the nurse about all of her information and on the screen it read…”stage 4 anal cancer”. That moment was absolutely indescribable. It was the first time I had seen anything with her true diagnosis on it. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t breathe, but I had to keep talking to the nurse and get my mom settled. I didn’t have time to be paralyzed. I had to take care of my mama and was in true survival mode. You just go through the motions to get through the day.
The past four years have been a blur and I have felt more emotions than I have ever felt in my entire life. My mama has been my life for 34 years. It has always just been me and her – well before my beautiful little family – and the thought of not having her here on this earth literally hurts my heart, like my chest feels tight and I find it very hard to breathe. Even with all these emotions, I wouldn’t change the past four years. I know that sounds a little strange. Something happens to you when you find out your mom has advanced stage cancer and you have already lost your father to brain cancer at a very young age. You change, your relationships change, literally everything changes. You cherish every second, you tell the people you love that you love them over and over, you spend as much time as you can with your people. You live like there is no tomorrow because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. No one. That feeling of losing her is always in the back of my mind – it always will be – but I am so grateful for every single day we have together.
We move forward cautiously optimistic as her most recent PET scans have showed no evidence of active disease. She continues to get her bi-weekly Opdivo immunotherapy medication, blood work, and monthly appointments with her oncologist who has been absolutely amazing these past four years. My mom knows that I am writing something – of course she never knows what will come out of my mouth. It is always a guessing game with me! Mama, you are truly my hero. You have handled this time in your life with such grace and strength. You have pushed through on days that you just wanted to give up and always, always wanted to know what the Plan B, C, D, E, etc. was going to be (you still do!). You never gave up. Thank god you never gave up. You will always be a warrior and I am forever grateful to be your daughter. Life is good.