This morning was my mother’s weekly chemotherapy treatment. It was her third infusion of this drug. She will endure five more weeks of this and then 6 weeks of radiation.
The first chemotherapy drug my mom started three days after Christmas caused her to lose her hair.
My mother is bald and wears it like a badge of honor.
To say she is amazing is an understatement. Even after a bilateral mastectomy and being pumped full of drugs that have extreme side effects she continues to be positive and keeps us all laughing in spite of the fact that we may sometimes just want to have a good cry.
My mother is living with and surviving breast cancer.
She has not had an easy life. My grandmother had my mom when she was 16 and unmarried. In those days, there was such a stigma attached to children born out of wedlock that my mom suffered negative treatment for something she had no control over. She was the first of seven children and money was scarce in the family. Her parents were severe disciplinarians.
When she married my father, that marriage ended nine years later in divorce. A second attempt at matrimony with my father also resulted in divorce a mere six months after it began.
While others might let such things define them my mother did not.
She is strong and brave and compassionate.
When we suddenly and unexpectedly lost my father in 1999 she never missed a beat when it came to making sure she was there for my sisters and me.
You see, although they had been divorced for several years she managed to get past the anger and become good friends with her ex spouse. When he died she too suffered the loss but she put my sisters and my grief before hers; a true testament to her character and strength.
She’s one of my best girlfriends, one with whom I share almost everything. We can talk on the phone for hours or sit up having girl talk until 2:00 in the morning.
My mom often says she’s lucky because her daughters are also her best friends. I echo that sentiment and feel blessed to have such an incredible mother.
I remind myself daily of how fortunate I am to have her and as I watch her go through this ordeal I only hope and pray that I am giving back the amazing support that she has given me throughout the years.