>> Sunday, August 2, 2009
I will love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. ~Og Mandino
Hello friends and family. I apologize for not being around the last few months. It has been a hectic and difficult summer for us, to say the least. My first-born and only daughter, Maysie, graduated from high school in June (more on that later). We lost one brother-in-law to a heartbreaking divorce and another to the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. But by far, the most trying event hit us about a month ago and to be honest, I still find myself trying to process all that has happened.
Last month, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. During a routine check-up, the doctor noticed a large mass that was later determined to be cancerous. Because of the depth of the tumor and positive lymph node involvement, she will undergo six weeks of daily chemotherapy and radiation treatment in an attempt to shrink the tumor down prior to surgical excision. Her first week of treatment started this past Monday. Tomorrow, week two begins.
My mom has truly surprised me. She does not complain. She does not feel sorry for herself. She feels fortunate that the doctors found the tumor before it spread to other organs in her body. She laughs much more than she cries. She gets up every morning ready to take on the day. She says love is always worth the fight. She thanks God that she is surrounded by family and friends who love and take care of her. She is affectionate and strong and loving. And she is grateful to be alive.
I don't think there is any way to fully prepare ourselves for all of the curve balls life decides to throw at us. All we can do is say a prayer, keep our eye on the ball, and swing as hard as we can. My mom is a profile in courage. Her optimism is contagious. You would never know that she is a cancer patient, or that she is in pain, or exhausted, or sad. Her winning spirit is what holds our family together; her sweet smile a beacon of hope. She amazes me, inspires me, humbles me. I have never been more proud.
I believe my mom can win this battle. But much like baseball, surviving cancer can't be achieved alone. In many ways, it is a team sport. I am truly grateful for the group of compassionate and competent doctors that care for her. And I know this would be much more difficult for her to endure without my dad's constant encouragement and unconditional love. Our family is completely dedicated to my mom's recovery, but I also believe in the power of prayer.
So I ask of anyone reading my blog, a simple request: please keep my mom in your prayers; that she remain steadfast and strong, and that hope and peace continue to fill her heart.
Thank you so much and God bless.