Pre-op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

My Mom

A day does not pass that I do not think about my mother.  That’s us..I was only a few months old there. To me, she is a wonderful woman. For the purposes of our conversation here, mine is the only opinion that matters. 🙂 Hind sight is 20-20. She was not perfect as I am sure my own daughters will remind me of often as they grow.  I find it hard to judge when I fortunately did not have to walk in her shoes.  As a parent, I also understand much more that I did years ago. I have a great life!  I am able to be home with my children.  I see them off to school and get them from the bus.  I am a part of everything and have a partner in my husband to help in every step.  I can not even imagine raising 3 children totally alone.  She was a single mother who worked very hard to ensure my sister, brother and myself would be better off than she was, and for that I thank her with all of my heart!

She never got to meet any of her grandchildren.  For my girls they have never had the opportunity to meet any grandparents since Franks mother also had breast cancer and his father died of a heart attack when he was in college.  My father is alive somewhere but that would be and entirely different blog.

I always had a special relationship with my mother.  It was not always easy to live with her but I did until I got married at age 25.  I went away for college but came home every few weekends and for holidays and summers.  Once I graduated I  again returned to my single bed in the little ranch home in Blackwood.  I never had a thought of anything else.

 She was diagnosed when I was in college.  I remember standing in my dorm room as she told me the news.  I was numb.  She had a mastectomy followed by radiation.  There was not chemotherapy.  It was offered but the odds given with or without it were so similar that she opted against it.  Instead she was given Tamoxifen.  Several year later it metastasized into her bones.  She required a hip replacement.  Because of the cancer it was a big surgery removing bone deep into her pelvis.  After the rehab center when she came home she was not very motivated to do the work necessary to get free of the walker.  At the time I was engaged to be married.  I asked if she would walk me down the aisle.  She was so happy!  She cried, hugged me and said of course.  Then I laid out the terms…she had to be able to walk on her own..no walkers no cane!  It was hard but she did it!  She had to hold my arm but proudly we walked down the aisle.

The last two years of her life were filled with radiation appointments and blood transfusions.  The last year added hospital stays.  The night she passed I had actually just gotten home from work.  I got the call after 11pm..I had an inventory that night and was just in the process of changing clothes.  I raced over to the house.  She still laid in her bed,  at peace.  She was scheduled for another blood transfusion in the morning.  I remember speaking to her earlier in the day and her concern that they might want to put her back in the hospital.  She said she did not want that because if they did she felt she would never again leave.

I have always told myself that she went to bed that night and had just had enough.  Now here I stand with the chance to avoid her past in my future and I grab it with both hands.

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