Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ramblings of a troubled heart

When I was six my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 36. Thirty-six! Can you imagine? Being a mother of two small kids now, I try to put myself in her place.

With three small girls waiting for you to kiss them goodnight. Three small girls who have no idea what is going on. Three small girls that you now worry about one day having to go through the same thing. I can't imagine the weight on her shoulders.

My maternal grandmother died when I was seven years old. She had cancer. Cancer of the lungs and breast cancer. The details of her suffering are very sketchy to me. But what my family went through during it are not. My mother would fly down to Corpus Christi for weeks at a time to take care of her. She would sit by her bedside and watch her own mother so sick and so frail. I can't imagine having to do that with my own mother. She would come home exhausted. I remember one trip vividly. She had just come home and my dad was working at the fire station. All she wanted to do was go to sleep, all I wanted to do was show her the 7-Up can necklace that Dad had got me while she was gone. I ran to my room, trying to hurry, because I could see how tired she was, when I ran back, I tripped and hit my head on her cedar chest, needing stitches in my forehead. My exhausted mother, who had just spent weeks at the hospital with her mother, was now having to take me to the hospital. I was so ashamed that I had caused her any more trouble. But, like any mother, she did it with love and patience.

It seems that everywhere I look these days more and more women are diagnosed with this disease. Right now 3 women in my small community have been diagnosed. 3 women very close to my age. One has already battled the disease, and is having to do it all over again. One is just starting her treatment, and one just lost her battle. Each of these women have husbands, children, families. It makes me realize how precious it all is and how fast it can be taken away.

We try to protect our kids from crossing the street, from bullies, from drugs. But sometimes the hardships that we and our kids face come from within. What's the point of this post? I have no idea. I guess there isn't a point. No moral to the story, no happy ending or funny saying. It's just hard to watch these families. Knowing what those kids feel. The confusion, the complete break in routine, the sympathetic looks from helpful strangers who really have your best interest at heart, yet you just want them to go away. You want your mom back to normal, you want this to end. I wish I could do something for them, but that's the point. They don't want sympathy, or caring. They want it to go away. I get it. I was there. I wish I could tell them that.


obladi oblada said...

Good post. My mom had breast cancer TWICE, had both removed....definitely a scary and hopeless feeling each time. God bless those families.

Kameron said...

I guess it is just importnat to stress getting checked regularly. If you catch it early enough chances are really good. I am vigilant since my grandma had a double masectomy when I was a child.

Tuesday Girl said...

It really is so scary and I hate to even think about it happening in my own family.

~~Mel~~ said...

I'm sorry for all that you had to go through and your poor mom and grandma too.

My mom battled breast cancer about 15 years ago and sadly she found another lump a few weeks's to hoping (and praying) that it isn't cancerous this time around.

.Keli. said...

Awww, Heidi this was a great post! I lost a very good friend last year to breast cancer. So, sorry for what your mom, you and your sisters went through but what an awesome mom you have! What a great example of a strong woman! Love ya!