My Mother, My Angel.
My mother raised my brother and I without anyone else’s help. She was beautiful. She was amazing. To us, she was supermom.
When my mom was just 24 years old, she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The doctors told her it was unlikely she would even survive. I was just 5 and my brother 2. I don’t remember much but the fact that my mom didn’t ever give up. She was strong and with her will to live, God’s grace, the aggressive radiation and chemotherapy.. she made it through.
My mom was the happiest woman in the world when she found out she was going to be a grandma. My oldest daughter made her a grandma and my second daughter made her just as happy, shown in the photo above. Sadly, my mother only got to meet two of my children, which is a very bittersweet thing for me.
When she turned 45, she had been having some leg pain. After a consult, the doctors decided she needed to get a tumor operated and removed that was growing near her spine.
After the surgery, she still wasn’t getting better. Little did we know they never mentioned she had another even larger tumor growing! By the time it was addressed, it was just about too late. Doctors in the Kansas City area agreed to amputate her leg and operate on the large tumor, but after opening her back up, they saw that nerves had been growing around it and the tumor was already breaking off into pieces and spreading throughout her blood stream. They deemed it inoperable.
This is the worse news you can receive, because it meant there was nothing else that could be done.
I quit my job as a hostess at the time and spent every waking moment caring for my mom. I was actually hired on to be her caregiver by her hospice. I would make her blended up fruit smoothies or gourmet sandwiches with Panera bread melted Swiss cheese and honey turkey slices.. anything that made her smile… I would make it happen.
During the time my mom was sick, I got my first colonoscopy procedure. I never knew how important it was to follow through with that type of thing when you have such a powerful and scary cancer history in the family.
Fast forward to today, I’ve had 6 or 7 colonoscopies and my gastroenterologist finally gave me the okay to get them once every three years instead of once a year! This is great news. Again, so thankful for any good thing God sends my way.
Unfortunately, the doctors gave my mom a 3 month window left to live, and despite my attempts to help in every way, 9 months later she passed away at the age of 46 on July 21, 2012.
I miss her every single day, but I swear there are times when it feels like God is letting her send me little signs that she knows I’m okay and that I’ll see her again one day.
We love you, Tammy.