Dear family and friends, some of you know of our mom’s recent stage 4 cancer diagnosis. The news came in December of last year and life has been different ever since. God’s continued mercies are ever-present and ever-sure even when life gets pretty foggy.
I, Debbie, with the support of mom and our family, decided to start blogging to track our journey— and to let others who are praying to get a little peek into lives.
We would so covet everyone’s love and continued prayers as time goes on. ❤
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” -Romans 8:28 NKJV
August 2017: “For Just This Moment, Let’s Stop Trying to Be Perfect”
This month marks my mom’s 5th month on her targeted treatment. She hasn’t had radiation this month, which is a nice break. Although, this month, she did break her foot tripping over something. Just a reminder of how fragile her bones are. The potency of her treatment is in question though, as her doctors said this week that her high liver enzymes could mean we need to switch treatments (side effect of the treatment) or that the cancer has metastasized to the liver. More tests and scans will be done to determine what’s next.
We’ve made waves in adjusting to our life. Adjusting to her “new normal” (which is what we’ve coined post-diagnosis life) is hard as she is regaining some of her strength but still needs to respect her limitations. She likes to sweep in our small patio in the mornings and has ambitions of trying to cook again. She cannot stand for that long (yet). I would love for her to be able to cook and see her over the stove again. Not only would it do her good… It would do me good too. I try my best to take her out to do fun things we once did. One fun thing on one day usually means two days after of her having to rest afterward. There are some things that are worth it, and some that are not. We try to find a balance. I’m also trying to get better at sharing how she is doing on social media with concerned family/friends and others who are on a similar journey (ergo, this blog).
Tears are a normal part of life for us. Sometimes my mom cries because things are hard or because of the pain. She believes God will completely heal her without a doubt… we differ on that. I believe that healing is so possible but with her terminal diagnosis, healing in Heaven is most likely in her case. Her faith is incredible—and almost all that I know about God and my faith is because of her. So, it pains me to be on two separate pages. God’s will be done. I have noticed though, that her best days are the days where she accepts that Earth is pretty much a dump compared to the greatness that Heaven brings—and the future that we as Christians have in store.
Now, she asks me, amidst tears while gripping my hand for comfort- “Do I still feel like Mom to you?”
And that kind of breaks my heart. She means, do I still feel like the mom you can run to when you have problems you don’t know how to fix or when you need a hug or when you just need a sandwich?
I say to myself, No- you’re not anymore and I’m so sorry you never will but I still love you the same.
I tell her, “I know things have changed a lot, but you will always be my mom.”
In earlier months, I had my friends to depend on and help me sort all these changes. Things are different now and life has pulled us all in different directions and we are not as close we once were. I have to admit: I miss my friends dearly. I miss the support and the laughs we once shared. I could go on and on about how we find who our true friends are in the midst of adversity. But I understand people need to move on and go on with their lives… I guess part of me is hurt that they are no longer apart of my life as they were before. I really do wish they would make more of an effort to be involved.
I keep telling myself, if they aren’t present and God withholds no good thing* from those He loves, then I don’t need anything more than God has given me right now.
My mom in her wisdom said that gratitude was the key to living our new normal well.
She goes on about “perfecting the attitude of gratitude in our situation.” Getting things perfect when I’m still learning what’s going on kind of intimidates me. Mom is a perfectionist so I think the word “perfect” is a motivator for her. I say “why don’t we learn first then we can worry about getting it perfect?” Let’s learn to walk before we run. Let’s give ourselves grace and just take things one day at a time. Isn’t today all we can take care of anyway?