May 10th 2020 is our first Mother’s Day without Mom and amazingly enough it’s also the 15th anniversary of our Father’s death, which just happens to fall on Mother’s Day this year. The great part of the story, though, is they are finally together again. It is a bit hard that we can’t gather as a family to celebrate them, but things are hard for a lot of people right now.
These photos make me think of my parents. This forest is three blocks from our condo and when I walk through the trees, I feel closer to them. Mom loved nature and any and all plants, she had a green thumb like no other. Dad also enjoyed the forest where they lived on the Oregon coast, since it’s so peaceful there. They both would have loved taking this walk with me.
It is tough Mom is gone at this time of my life, but I know she’s at peace now. She was aware I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer just two months before she passed away, so knowing her she’s probably been advocating for me on the other side. I received some great news three days ago and would love to tell her in person, I’d give anything for one of her phenomenal hugs. It’s been fifteen years now, but I still remember Dad’s hugs and would love one of those too.
On to the great news. August 4th last year I found myself in the ER and after two surgeries and two weeks in the hospital, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. I began chemotherapy a month later, since I was told over and over again my chances were not good, especially without chemo. Then, after eight months of chemo I honestly wasn’t sure what would get me first, the chemo or the cancer. Chemo was hurting me badly and I’m actually amazed I made it through 11 cycles.
On February 26th of this year I received my last chemo infusion. My doctors, my husband and I all agreed I needed to take a two month break and let my body heal for a while, but after that the Oncology plan was for me to continue chemo at a maintenance level every other week for the rest of my life. If I didn’t follow that plan, we were told, the cancer would surely get the upper hand and I wouldn’t have long. It could even start moving in that direction during the two month break.
It took every bit of the two months for me to mostly recover from that last treatment, I still have a certain amount of nephropathy in my hands and feet, but I can live with that. I feel great today and I’m now living my life again for the first time in over nine months.
During the break from chemo, as I began to feel better and better and with a lot of discussions and prayers, I made a decision. I decided to stand on my faith and trust in God’s plan for me. My husband and I decided we’d rather live normal lives for whatever time we could, than him watching me suffer while I spent most of my time in bed in agony. Since my family and close friends were aware of what I’d gone through, they were on board too. I just needed to talk to my Oncologist and thankfully, she completely agreed with us.
Before I left the Oncology clinic for the break, a new CT Scan was scheduled for May 4th and the appointment to get the results was scheduled for May 6th. When the time came, I was nervous about going to the hospital for the scan, I hadn’t been out of the house in two months, but Oncology is considered essential and I was assured all safety precautions were being taken. At the same time Oregon had just opened up the state for all non-essential procedures as well.
On the 6th of May, with me sitting in the Oncology clinic and my husband on the phone in the car, he wasn’t allowed to come in with me, we were given the results of the CT Scan. We were anxious, since we had been warned a break from chemo could be an open door for the disease. But we were told the most incredible news! There is no visible sign of cancer and I am in remission! This is what we and my circle of prayer warriors had prayed for and based on everything we have been told I consider it a miracle.
Thank you God! Obviously, He is not done with me here yet! Also, thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and prayed for me!
“I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Mark 11:23-24, NLT