My Mom doesn’t have Cowden’s Syndrome. The tests confirmed that.
What she does have is strength, stamina, and courage unrivaled by most. She is a tough cookie. An inspiration with her determination. Not once throughout her life have I ever known her to give up.
Mom is a survivor.
Long before she was a breast cancer survivor, she was a survivor of life.
She survived a divorce, two jobs, and raising 2 kids alone – with the help of my grandparents.
She survived sleepless nights, and worry.
She battled for her kids- fought doctors, insurance companies and the like. And, she even battled with us on occasion… If you can imagine that!
Long before she was a breast cancer survivor, she was my Mom. And she taught some valuable lessons I still use today.
(My sister posted the other day that “Some days I open my mouth and my mother comes out!”)
These are her words coming out of me these days….
When my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer I was 23. I was scared. She might have been scared, but she attacked it with her “matter of fact” attitude that I think is what has gotten her so far.
She went for her first mastectomy on February 24th of 1997. She was just 48. The second mastectomy followed in April when cancer was found in the other breast. 6 months of chemo followed. 5 years of Tamoxifen followed that.
And she just kept right on going. Even though some days she felt like this…
Truth be told, maybe we all did. But I did what I could to help out with her, around the house, and with my little sister. I was really just amazed by her drive. But I think I still am.
Last year when I was scheduled for my mastectomy, the surgeon asked me who had been with my mother during hers. I told her my dad and I had. She said, “Well call mom and tell her its time to return the favor.”
I called her on the ride home and although I can’t imagine it was an easy call to take. She never flinched. She took the week off that I had the surgery (a HUGE compliment from someone who sparsely misses a day of work.) My recovery went so smoothly. And I had some of the best conversations of my life with Mom that week.
When my pathology returned DCIS, she was the first one I called. Neither of us were surprised. And, yet her reassuring words, that she knew I had “done the right thing,” gave me such peace.
Before Mom was diagnosed she dreaded turning 50. After all she had been through she embraced 50 with grace and charm, and a few years ago gave 60 a great big hug.
This is a picture from her 64th birthday a few weeks ago.
My mom may not be like everyone else’s. She can be a tough lady. She hasn’t had an easy life. But she has a heart of gold. And I love her for who she is.
As I grow I realize everyone does the best they can with what they have where they are.
I am thankful – so thankful – for these last 16 years with my Mom. I am grateful she got to know my daughter. I look forward to having her around for a long time.
A mother bonds with all her children, and she is close with my sisters – differently than how we are close. That’s what makes each relationship special.
We share some things that can’t be put into words…
She will always be my friend. I hope she knows just how much she is loved.