My mom is truly the best mom a girl could want. She is an enthusiastic cheerleader, always encouraging. Not with sappy words of sympathy, but strong words that prompt me to face my fears, to stand up for myself, and to put on my big girl pants and do it! She knows just about everything. With a simple phone call to my mom, I can find out how long to cook something, the location of a place to which I am traveling, or the latest news about a friend or acquaintance. She’s an encyclopedia of helpful tips, a GPS, and Facebook all rolled into one. Energy oozes out of every pore. From taking food to an ill church member to cutting out all my laminating to staying up until she hears I’ve made it home, she’s like a 24-hour convenience store; always open.
Recently, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the lump was removed, thankfully there were no cancer cells found in her blood, the area around where the tumor was located, or in her lymph nodes. However, as a precautionary measure, she will receive 16 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. Following her first chemo treatment, she has been tired, uninterested in eating, and busy dealing with each new effect that pops up from the treatment for cancer. Needless to say, it’s been very difficult for her. Normally, she is a people person. Even as a 71-year-old great grandma, she would use up all her available talking and texting limits on her phone, babysit her great grandchild regularly, and visit the “elderly” at her church.
But for now, my encouraging words are reminding my mom that God is taking care of her, and this is only temporary. Through research, I am learning ways to help her deal with her loss of appetite. Each night, I cook a little extra to take to my dad so my mom won’t have to make dinner. With phone calls and brief visits, I can recount the funny stories of my day or drop off reading material to break up the loneliness of forced seclusion due to low white blood cell count. I am privileged to give back to my mom what she has given me my entire life. She will come through this, strong and courageous, and the world will be as it should be.