To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Mom

I have been hesitant to write much lately, because I've been dreading writing anything about what's going on with my mother right now; but after today, it's unavoidable...

Today, my mother is at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL for the second time in 3 years for treatment.  That's right...not a check-up, TREATMENT.

As of today, my mother has been diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma and Philadelphia positive adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  

I have run the gamut of emotions these past few weeks - from sadness to fear to anger to hope and back around again.  BUT, today, I actually am feeling quite good.

I know, easy for ME to say, right?!

I get it, I'm not the one going through it; no, I'm not.  But, mom's in the BEST possible place ever for cancer treatment.  When she was going through treatments before, the CTCA was just beyond wonderful to her and all of us.  It really makes a difference to be in such a great place full of such wonderful doctors and treatment options - THANK GOD for insurance!

Also, mom's biological brother, R, just got done fighting a very similar cancer back in September; and he is now cancer-free, Praise Jesus!  So, we are all grateful for that knowledge - it has put us all at ease quite a bit.

Her hematologist and oncologist at CTCA said they have "very high hopes" for mom, and that they "expect recovery to the point of remission".  This is great news.  GREAT news, and we do not take it lightly.  We have all been thanking God all day for his greatness!  I know to some people they would think, "Well, if God's so great, she wouldn't be sick to begin with."

I used to think that way too.  But the more my family has endured, the more I have realized that sometimes the miracle is that you are given a second chance - a fiftieth chance.  Or that you meet just the right person who sets you on the right path, and it changes your whole life.  Or maybe something seemingly bad happens to you, but it ends up saving your life - literally.

Mom had a gall bladder attack in July, and it got quite bad...she was finally able to have it out in October.  One mere half-hour before her surgery, the doctor got a "wild hare" (as my dad would say) to do a liver was this liver biopsy that showed the lymphoma...and probably saved my mother's life.

I don't know why God doesn't always miraculously heal us instantaneously when we want him to; but sometimes I think we have walk through fire to become who he wants us to be on the other side.  And to me, sometimes the miracle is that it's 2011, and we are privileged to have such amazing technology at our disposal that can literally save our lives.  I'm so grateful for medical advancements - SO GRATEFUL!

Today, my strong-willed, sassy, Irish mother told my father and youngest sister that she was "really scared".  I've NEVER heard her say anything like that in my entire life.  I know she must be so scared right now.  I cannot imagine what it's like to battle cancer...TWICE.  BUT, I do KNOW that God has a plan for her.  I just know he does!  He wouldn't bring her this far to just drop her and say "sorry".  That goes against every promise in the Bible.

So today was staging and PET scans and her second blood transfusion in a week and a half.  Tomorrow, is a bone marrow biopsy and the beginning of chemotherapy.  I'm not glad she has to have treatment, but I'm glad they're jumping on so quickly and getting things started...her body is tired and needs to start healing, even though I know it will be worse before it gets better.

M and I will be leaving Thursday morning to head up to Zion to relieve our other sister and our dad; although, I doubt he'll go home with his wife in the hospital, but at least we can take some stress off - even if just a little...  I'm going to try to get in to see my doctor tomorrow.  I found two sores in the back of my mouth, and my lymph nodes have been a little swollen.  I've also had a veeeeeery slightly elevated temperature (like, in the 98's when I normally run in the 97's, but I'm hoping this is only my BCP's affecting my temp), runny nose and touch of a sore throat.  The CTCA won't let me in to see my mom if I'm sick; so, I'm hoping to get a clean bill of health tomorrow, or at least get on some antibiotics. :-S

My mom and I on my wedding day.
Any good thoughts and prayers for total healing sent my mom's way are GREATLY APPRECIATED!  I am so glad for the gift of prayer; it is so powerful!

I have just been thanking God all day long for the healing of my mother!  I want her to see her grandchild(ren)...I want to make new memories with her.  I want to take her to Ireland to see where she was from.  I want to have many more happy holidays with her.  I want her to see me succeed - my book published and our band signed.  I want her to do what she always wanted to do - take time for herself and pursue her dream of being a full-time many dreams...I want them all to come true.

I hope you and yours are well, wherever you are in the world...

Love and Blessings,


  1. I agree - life sometimes has an interesting way of unfolding to show us what we need to see, what we need to experience or endure to get to where we need to be. We tried for a baby for 1.5 yrs before I found out I needed open heart surgery - and it was then that we were told that if I had gotten pregnant prior to my surgery, I would most likely died. My heart wouldn't have been able to handle the stress. Essentially, infertility saved my life. As you know, we're still trying for our family, but I now know I'm healthy enough to carry a child to term. I have faith that your Mom will pull through this trial - she's a survivor and survivors are tough. Sending you and your family lots of loving thoughts and prayers for healing!

  2. I'm sending lots of prayers up for your mom. You'll all be in my thoughts.


  3. So sorry about your mom. Sending you strength and love.

  4. I just came across your blog today when I googled how to give Foll.istim injections. Started reading a bit and came across this post. I am sending your mom lots of healing thoughts and sending your family lots of strength. My mom beat cancer 14 years ago so I am sending our blessings to you all. I've added your blog to my reader and look forward to hearing about your mom's amazing recovery. *big hugs*