My First Blog…. and one that deserves to be number 1…..
Strength| It means more than the amount of weight you can lift, or how many grocery bags you can carry in one trip… it has a totally different meaning, Keep reading and you’ll see why!
Lets rewind a bit, back to November 2013. My Mom came to me and my family to tell us she had to go in for a simple procedure. Nobody thought anything of it and we all assured my Mom that everything would be ok… Well as it turns out things didn’t go the way they were planned, as life often throws sudden and abrupt, unwanted twists and turns. Sometimes I like to think its to show us how strong we are as individuals, how easily we can bounce back when given a lemon in life that we just never wanted and make lemonade. A good friend once told me “God never gives you more than you can handle” and she was absolutely correct! It’s just really hard to believe that when you’re in that moment… You also know that old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s a great saying, so we unfortunately had to start making lemonade; sour, yucky, bitter lemonade 🙂
The “C’ word, that word that no one wants to speak about, hear about or ever think about, but unfortunately its become all too common… Two weeks before Thanksgiving, my Mom went in for a hysterectomy. She was surrounded by love from her family, and even that of her sister & brother in law who stayed with us during that week of her surgery. At this point the “c” word was on the table, but there was a good chance after pathology came back that she would be in the clear and given the green light to go about her life as it was… A few hiccups in the road following her surgery, and that dreaded appointment date arrived… Together with my sister, we accompanied my Mom to her appointment, not knowing what the diagnosis/prognosis would be, but we knew she needed support, no matter what the outcome would be… We sat together in the office, for what seemed like hours waiting and then even longer speaking with the doctor… The moments leading up to the diagnosis were long, paused, silent, and filled with anxious thoughts and emotions…
“Type 1A Uterin Sarcoma” AKA—> Cancer… I think after this nobody really heard anything… because when you hear this first or second hand, its much different than just “hearing about it” if you know what I mean…..
So we started making more lemonade so to speak… Radiation & Chemo started approximately 10 weeks following the diagnosis. Counting down the days to the inevitable, the unexpected and the unknown… But together we stood by her, raising her spirits even when they didn’t need it at all… Some other little bumps in the road of course occurred… because why would this process be made any easier?
Chemo started, we made it somewhat of a fun time for my Mom and went to out dinner almost every time following her treatment… kind of like a “pig out” session, knowing that in the next few days, her appetite would be minimal, and her strength would be depleted…. We laughed, we talked about the countdown to the last one… All the while pushing through… We made sure that we would fill up the days with fun things, even if it meant just sitting there eating together. We came up with the idea of creating a fun group that would meet biweekly; “Cro-Shea” (A crochet group) was formed… We still continue to meet every few weeks and crochet together, but mostly these groups were filled with good food, good friends and great conversations with lots of laughs… Oh and more eating than crocheting ! We even contemplated calling the group an eating/social group. And during these months of treatment and testing on our patience, strength and spirit, we were always reminded that it could be worse… Life could be worse… but it’s not, and we are so lucky! So we had to be happy with the fact that we knew this…
During the treatments at the cancer center, My mom of course became known as “The Crochet Lady” because she always had her bag of yarn (I say that lightly, her bag was more like a suitcase) and began to gift coffee cozy’s to all of her nurses.. no wonder why they were always more than willing to help! (Just kidding!)… The facility was really such a welcoming and humbling environment and they really loved her there! Although bitter sweet to leave them, she knew that on the last day of her treatment, it was the start of a new journey! Never was she so excited to “Go to chemo!”
So It’s been quite a year for us as a family… I know many (which is sad) can relate, and unfortunately cancer has touched our family on more than one occasion already, but we kept this private while treatments were going on… as this was and still is an emotional topic. Looking back now, (not that we are totally in the clear), but I can definitely say that everything happens for a reason… I am not saying that cancer happened to her for a reason, but there were many events that kept her family close by to her, almost to exact date that she was ending treatment… It’s funny how that happens.
So, after many attempts & fails at trying to schedule a special session for my Mom.. We finally were able to fit one in! And I’m so glad we did! I think her hair is quite beautiful and flattering on her, and I’m sure you’ll agree that she’s rocking it!
Meet my Mom; Margaret, My beautiful best friend (and I truly mean that!), my confidant, my hero, and the woman who has shown me, taught me and instilled in me even more so that strength has an entirely new meaning… Life is beautiful and we can’t sweat the small stuff… She has taught me to always persevere, be truthful, kind and patient… and love life… and is the maker of many of my newborn props for my photography business! I know that she knows this already but I (and I speak for my family) love her very much… and although we were giving her tough love at some points during this process, sometimes you need a little bit of that 🙂 I feel so blessed and lucky to have a mom like her.
So her new chapter begins| In Remission
Just the girls | From left. Your Photographer (me), My Mom, My sister Keri
Her first born| Keri & Mom
Me & My Mom| 2014
Kimberly Jean Photography