Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting the news

When I look back on it, it all happened so fast, but living in the moment I did not realize how quickly she was leaving me, and most of all how little time I had left.
She found a lump in her left breast in the shower. She made an appointment with her doctor and a few weeks later when she saw him, he said she should see a specialist - she made an appointment.  The week of her appointment a snow storm came in and she couldn't make it in....before you know it a few months had passed. The lump continued to grow and she finally rescheduled the appointment. A few weeks later she got in. After the appointment he recommended a biopsy and a few weeks later it was performed.
May 13, 2014 - my birthday, I was turning 30 years old. I had dreaded that birthday because of the number...the big THREE-ZERO, 30 was old, but none of that mattered anymore. It was the day that the doctor had scheduled to read my Mom the results of her biopsy. I knew what he was going to tell us, but I didn't know what the extent of it would be. You have breast cancer he said......I was right. Terribly, horribly, right. It has spread to your lymph nodes he between your breasts, under your left arm and is spreading into the lymph nodes in your neck. It is stage 4 he said. It is triple negative he the time we did not know what that meant and it was a lot to take in. I stayed strong for my Mom, I knew I needed to provide strength and support for her. I looked at her and smiled and told her we would get through this. It was my turn to provide for her all she had provided for me. You see, my Mom spent most of her life as a single mother to me and my brother Torrin, who is 11 years younger than me and the light of both of our lives. Mom and I have been through a lot together but she has taught me that hard work matters and that I can do anything I put my mind to. She taught me about God and respect and how to be selfless, but more than anything my Mom wanted me to succeed. She did whatever it took to make sure we had a beautiful home and the best clothes on our back. She never settled for second best and she wouldn't allow us to either, even if it meant she worked five jobs (which she did most of her adult life), or if she hadn't bought herself anything new in years. We were always well taken care of.
When we walked out of the doctors office that day I was terrified what would happen once we were alone. I've never felt that I am the best with words when it came to difficult situations. I always mean the best and lend a helping hand, but words don't always come so easily. We got into my van, I took a deep breath, looked at my Mom and she began to sob...I held her. This was only the beginning of the battle my Mom and our family would face with breast cancer. The ugliest battle and the most horrific thing I have ever laid eyes on. Something no one should ever have to witness, much less endure. This was the beginning of me seeing the absolute hero that I have for a mother, the biggest blessing I could have ever dreamt of being the person to teach me right from wrong, good and bad, and the absolute last person to deserve to have this happen. There are a lot of people in my situation, and unfortunately in my Mom's situation, and for that reason I want to share this story, because if it helps one person get through it, or provides one person information or peace, it is worth it.

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