Monday, November 7, 2011

November is...

Lung cancer awareness month.
I don my pearls with pride this month.

Two years ago, my world was turned upside down when my aunt passed away from lung cancer, quickly followed by my mother's diagnosis.
Two years ago, while mourning my aunt, I watched my mother go through 15 chemo treatments and 45 radiation treatments. I listened to her doctors claim she wouldn't make it through the treatment.
But she did.
A year ago, as I got ready to welcome Muffin into our lives, I watched my mother deal with a cancerous tumour in her brain. Lung cancer is famous for heading up to the brain.
Only days before I gave birth, my mom underwent brain surgery to remove the tumour.
Three months later, she underwent gammaknife radiation because something showed up in her next brain scan. Her doctors weren't sure if they had gotten all the tumour out. It had broke into pieces durning her operation.
Today, her lungs are still looking okay. Her brain is looking okay. She will be going in for a scan this week to check her bones. She's been complaining about a back/hip pain. It's not due to her lower back injury (she slipped a disc years ago which led to her discharge in the military). It's either arthritis, osteoporosis or, worse case scenario, bone cancer.
Being a cancer survivor, she can't rule anything out. She has to have it checked out.
I'm doing my best not to think about the what if's of my mother's health. I consider myself lucky that I still have her in my life. She drives me completely bonkers sometimes, but she's my mother. She's one of my best friends. She's my biggest cheerleader.
I know our time is limited. Really, if you think about it; our time is limited with everyone in our lives. My time with my mom just has a shorter time line than I would like. I've come to accept that. I have no other choice. I don't want to dwell on the end when it's not here yet. When it comes, I know I will deal horribly with it. Hubby knows it too. He'll be here to pick up the pieces.
Until then, I know I am blessed to still have my mother in my life. And it doesn't matter how crazy she is; how nutty she drives me; or how mad we can get towards each other. I am grateful for the past 30 years I have had her. She's my mother and I love her to the moon and back a million times over. I am proud of how she's kicked cancer in the butt.
I wear my pearls with pride.
I wear my pearls for hope.
I wear my pearls for my mother.

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