Right before my mom's 55th birthday, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly after, she received one of the most difficult procedures a woman could endure: a double mastectomy. On top of the already difficult healing process, my mom experienced severe pain, a blood clot, and an infection in her chest wall. My parents are divorced, and my sister lived out of state, so I spent most of my days in the hospital by her side. However, this all seemed secondary to the relief that my mother was finally cancer free.
With my mom's health being restored, I started upon my own journey. I quit my job, packed one suitcase, and bought a one-way ticket to California with no "plan" in mind other than to do some serious soul-searching. My mother fully supported and encouraged me the whole way. Only a year later, a lymph node was discovered in her chest wall. It was diagnosed as an aggressive cancer, only 5% of breast cancer patients have this type. My mom went through chemo and radiation, even though there would only be a 60% chance of stopping the cancer from spreading. So, that meant nausea, emotional hardships, and hair loss; ultimately being stripped away from the physical characteristics that we as humans so often take for granted.
As she undergoes this journey, I feel so lucky to have had 28 years with such a kind, loving, and gentle woman such as my mother. I'm always thinking of ways to show her how much I and everyone around her truly admires her strength.
I stumbled upon The Giving Keys a few days before Mothers Day. I cried. I immediately picked the key that said Strength and shipped it off to my mother on the east coast.
To my mom (and all) undergoing this disease: You have inspired me to carry strength regardless of what I am faced with in this life.
As she would always say to me "Honey, you don’t get to choose the cards you are dealt with, but you do have the choice of how you play the ones you're holding".