She hopes, she fights, she will win.
You may be here because you clicked a link someone has shared or maybe because you're subscribed to my blog... Whatever brought you here, I hope it only inspires you to love hard, laugh more and see that life is the gift God has given you.
First, let me tell you about my Mom. Her grace is never ending. Her heart for others is massive and sometimes I worry about her giving too much (sound familiar?) but that's who she is and people love her for her graciousness she carries. You'll never hear her complain, she cheers everyone on no matter how big or little their task may be. She's the person I call when I can't find which isle velveeta's on or when I'm in the car and just needing to talk. She's my encouragement at the end of my bad days and my biggest celebrator when I get a W. This story doesn't define who she is, but what she's up against. She has prepped me for the last 25 years to fight battles like these and for that.. I'm forever grateful.
The last several days have been the most confusing time in my life. I'm angry, I'm sad, and I'm shaken down to my bones.
October 24th my Mom was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Breast Cancer... To keep it somewhat personal I want to respect her and not give out every detail we have because things change, treatment plans change and sometimes chancer changes.
Two weeks ago my Mom went in for her yearly mammogram. To give it some back story.. My mom has had abnormal mammograms ever since I can remember. She's always had weird spots that have always caught the Dr's attention but nothing has ever come about it. So she mentioned the Dr's didn't like her scan so they called her in to have another look. When she told me I didn't think anything of it. Well... She went in and they said it was a possible tumor but they needed to do a biopsy to be 100% sure. (FYI - My sister and I were unaware that she was called in to do a biopsy.) She left work for a couple of hours to have the biopsy done so according to my sister and I she was just working her shift at the hospital.
To give it even more of a back story as to where I was... I felt God tell me I needed to be in Texas for 2 straight weeks. I didn't know why, but He told me to go, for 14 days. So I went and didn't ask questions. Last Tuesday I was hanging out with a friend of mine, laughing and having a great day. A good day involves queso, ok? My Mom and I had plans to go see a movie we both had been wanting to see... I texted, no answer. I called, no answer. I said "What could she possibly be doing?!" Little did I know what was going on, on the other side of town.
My Mom came home from her appointment that day and sat my sister and I both down... "I have good news and I have bad news" she said. I immediately knew. "The bad news is that I have breast cancer. The good news is...." I couldn't tell you what the good news was. I blacked out after I heard the C word.
All I remember thinking was - I don't know how to make her recipes, I don't remember certain stories from my childhood, I don't remember how to properly grocery shop. These were the things Mom was going to teach me, tell me - all in good time. I was about to experience doubt, regret and all of the sudden anger.
A few minutes after she told us the news I ran to the darkest place I could find, and at the time, it felt like the safest. I shut the door behind me. I felt sick. I ugly cried and hard, covering my mouth with my hand so no one would hear me. My deepest fears were unfolding. This was now our reality.
In the time that elapsed between her diagnosis and confirming her treatment plan, I cried every day, sometimes multiple times a day, sometimes for no reason at all, almost everywhere. Bathroom stalls. The parked car in a dark garage. The shower. Sitting at home on a Friday night. At a friends house and escaping to the bathroom for a few minutes. I went to bed at 5 p.m. I went to bed at 1 a.m. I stopped praying. I let things slip. I told everyone things were fine — and they weren’t. My boob would brush up against something and I thought I felt a lump. I’d work out and I'd over eat. I didn’t know how to cope. So I shut down.
After a couple of days of living shut down, I realized that I just couldn’t be that person anymore. Because shutting down wasn’t real and it certainly wasn’t helping the situation at all. My biggest fan, my mom, is fighting to save her life. And I’m still crying in the bathroom. I finally said, enough.
On November 2nd, she had a lumpectomy. For those of you who don't know.. A lumpectomy is a procedure to take out the cancerous tumor. I wanted to wait until most of our questions were answered to write this. To give hope to you and to give encouragement for my mom. Her treatment will start within the next 2 weeks. Please pray for strength, healing and comfort.
I started writing this for three main reasons. First, as a way to scoop myself out of the slough that has been this searing, and second because I wanted to tell a story about being human that’s not always fantastic or pretty or charming or normal. But, real. Totally real.
Lastly, I did it in hopes it might be valuable to someone else. I stopped thinking about myself long enough to consider that perhaps someone else is driving down this ugly road. Because for every woman who has breast cancer, there are husbands, partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, families, friends, coworkers who are struggling, too. Sometimes I want to sign up to be at every fundraiser. Other times, I want to rip down every poster I see for breast-cancer awareness month because I’m angry. And I’m worse than angry — I’m scared.
What I learned from these last few weeks is resilience, faith and love. I realized how strong I was. I learned to accept life’s unpredictability and knew that no matter what was dealt to me, I could and would handle it. This lesson has served me well as a friend, daughter, and business owner.
This was the first time I saw that my mom was truly vulnerable. I got to see a different side of her. My compassion and empathy grew. My love for my mom grew. My understanding of the sacrifices she had made for me and my family grew.
I was given the gift of witnessing and experiencing empathy, compassion and love. These three values are at the core of who I am and how I have chosen to live my life today.
Here is a link for a gofundme // https://www.gofundme.com/marissas-mom-2vwkdzw // It was set up to help my Mom with whatever she wishes. Honestly, she just wants to donate it all to a breast cancer research center. That's my Mom y'all... A true giver.
I love you, Mom. I'm with you, as you've been for me. This is just a season. I'm not going to let it defeat you but only let it grow you. We will fight harder than we've ever fought. We will see the light at the end of this tunnel soon.. I promise.