We knew she needed to get checked out, but unfortunately, she was in Italy for a several month trip. What to do? We decided, that we needed to get her home. We probably didn’t appreciate the extent of my mom’s mental impairment, and my poor mom had to navigate trains and planes in a foreign country.
My dad arrived at the Denver airport to pick her up, and she never showed up at baggage claim. We knew she had gotten on the plane to Denver, but where was she? So he started walking around the airport and discovered her just wandering around not quite sure where she was or where she was going.
A visit to the emergency room confirmed our worst fear: brain tumor. But we wouldn’t know what kind until the results of the biopsy. While we were waiting, we turned to the internet and we discovered a new worst fear: Glioblastoma Multiform, an aggressive brain cancer with a median survival rate of 12-15 months.
The results from the biopsy confirmed it. It’s difficult to describe the shock.
My mom was 59 years old and in great health. My mom was full of energy and filled her days with activities. My mom was independent and fearless; she lived in Mexico for part of the year and traveled the rest. My mom was a social butterfly and brought people together at happy hours and parties. And almost over night, she became a shell of who she used to be.
She started a treatment of chemo and radiation and the first MRI showed the cancer was responding. But the second MRI showed it growing again. And we made the very difficult decision to stop treating the cancer, so we could focus on quality of life.
We don’t know if she has 3 weeks or 3 months. It will go as it goes, but we know that she will not be suffering. She sleeps most of the time, and when she’s awake, we talk and laugh– at least my my mom still has her sense of humor. She was always the funniest person in the room, and you couldn’t not laugh when my mom was around. And she’s still still throwing out the one-liners.
Happy Mother’s Day
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and naturally I’m looking at it with fresh eyes and with heightened appreciation for my mom.
Maya Angelou wrote, “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.”
For much of my life, I did not fully appreciate my mom and her gifts. But when I look at the impact she’s had on others, when I realize what she sacrificed to give my sister and me a shot at what she never had– and that it worked, when I appreciate the challenges she faced in her life, then I’m filled with so much gratitude for who she is and what’s she’s done. And I wish I could go back and spend more time appreciating her.
So, I would like to wish my mother the Happy Mother’s Day I should have always given her and honor her for being the force of nature she was. Thank you mom for your life, your love, your light, and your laughter. Thank you for always doing the best you could with the tools you had at the time. You always did your best to make Jess and me proud of you. Well, congratulations, it worked. We are so proud of you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s. Poverty Busters member Darlene is a new mom. Poverty Busters and Pets member, Gail is a new grandmom. To all the mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day <3