Friday, September 20, 2013


Defining something can be hard to do.
Defining something can also be easy to do.

Here...let's give it a try:

Ice cream is: sweet, delicious, my favorite treat
School is: fun, exciting, new
Love is: wonderful, indescribable, fulfilling

Now here's another definition for you-one that's been on my mind A LOT lately...

My mom is: loving, positive, giving, brave, forgiving, positive, a fighter, brave, a wife, positive, a sister,  brave, a mother-in-law, positive, a friend, brave...are you sensing the pattern here? Side note...the last time I "defined" my mom was when we had a 5 year survivor celebration. Interesting how words and events can come together. 

This is what we are dealing with right now, at this point in September of this year:
Do you see what it says on that container? Yup. You read it right. Chemotherapy waste-must be incinerated. Burned. No where else to go but up in smoke. We're back here again...doing this thing...after 8 years of not doing it. And in those 8 years I really thought we were done. I really didn't think we would be back here, sitting in this chair-
taking naps while the "icky" medicine attacks the sick cells to make mom better. Neither did she. Neither did my dad. Neither did anyone for that matter. No one wants to think it will happen again.
But back to the Definition of My Mom...brave and positive. Did you notice how many times that came up. It's because I think about it all. The. Time. Just how brave she is. How she marches into this chemo room, hoping that her corner chair is open (so she can see everything that's going on and all of her angels who sit with her can have enough room), ready to take on the medicine that will (in our minds) put her into remission for the time being-or at least shrink all of those ugly cancer spots to 1 or 2 instead of the many that spot her bones in her body. Brave. To know that her hair would fall out. To know that she probably couldn't taste. To know and understand that this time it's different. Brave. Because there isn't a way to really get rid of it. No surgery. No radiation. Just the medicine to fight those cancer cells tooth and nail. Oh...and prayer.
Did I mention that we are people of faith? If you know us, you would know that. We pray every night at our house. And Mamma is always a part of our prayers. Sometimes it's general like, "We pray that Mamma feels better." But sometimes it's specific like, "Please help the medicine fight off the cancer. Please help the doctors and guide them to know what's best." We pray. She prays. Dad prays. Friends and family pray. That brings me to that second word that came up again and again: Positive. Positive in all aspects.

When we first found out about this road we were (once again) going down, it didn't feel different than the last time. It felt the same: we will fight this. We will beat this. Nothing will stop us from getting rid of this again. Yes, there were tears. But there was NEVER, I mean NEVER the thought that this would be any different. You're reading between the lines-we never talked and still haven't talked about what is to come. Some may say that's denial. True, but when the doctor doesn't even tell you what's to come, why worry? As I was able to tell friends, some in person, others over the phone, some wondered, "What's the prognosis?" See, when you are surrounded by positivity and prayer, that doesn't matter. What matters is the here and now. What will they do for her? What's the treatment going to be like? Until the time comes where it is absolutely necessary to think about prognosis, we will spend our time and energy fighting and living our lives, thank you very much! 

Fighting something like cancer seems to be more uplifting when you have kids around. See, A & C weren't around the last time we fought this. In fact, at the tail end of Mom's chemo, we found out we were expecting. God works in those mysterious ways sometimes. You know, with the timing and everything. But now we have these 2 seven year olds who only know Mom as Mamma. They hug her and love her just the same as before. Before school started I brought them with to see what chemo was all about. We talked about the medicine. We talked about the port (A thought Mamma had her chest cut open to get her chemo, so it was a good visual to really see it in person). We had snacks (A's favorite part). And that was it! Seeing this through the eyes of children can change a person's perspective. That's because you can't dwell on it. The kids are moving on with activities and school. They know Mom goes in for treatments, but when they see her, they still talk to her the same as before she was sick. We don't talk about it in a "hush, hush" sort of way. We're really matter of fact about it. I think it helps us all.

So definitions...defining some things can be oh-so-hard, while others can be oh-so-easy. I know what it's like to try to define my mom because I see it and hear it every day. I only hope to be like her as I get older: to have the courage to fight anything that is presented to me. Because that's what she's doing. And I love her even more for it.  

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