Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Thankful Day, Anxious Days

Thursday was the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday. My family: parents, sister, brother and families, cousins and grandmother, gathered at my house for a huge meal. We gorged ourselves on turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, fruit compote, macaroni and cheese, pecan pie, banana pudding and pound cake. We indeed are thankful for a good year, a fine family and good fortune this year.

But we have anxious days ahead. This beautiful woman (on the left, shown here with her younger sister) has been diagnosed with malignant breast cancer. I will be going with her to the oncologist on Monday morning at 10:30. Tuesday is a meeting with the surgeon who will perform a masectomy and remove lymph nodes for testing as early as this week.



She is a fighter. She has lost a child. She moved in with my grandmother (her mother-in-law) to help take care of her as she was dying from Parkinson's disease. She volunteers at the Library, takes friends to doctor's appointments and makes everyone in her life feel loved and special. She is an adored mother and grandmother. She is the beloved daughter of an 89 year old mother. She loves to read, do jigsaw puzzles and cannot sew, garden or cook. Her closets are organized and her towels have to be folded a certain way. She hates clutter and likes to keep decorating to a minimum. She graduated from university in three years, married at 21, raised four children, taught school for 20 years and retired from teaching four years ago. She served as a mentor and friend to her colleagues, superiors and training teachers. She has stayed up late working on science projects and spent probably years of her life shuttling children from football practice to baton practice and band tryouts. She has been present for the birth of every grandchild save two (who were born in another country). She is more than anyone could ever ask for in a daughter, wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. She is kind, even to former daughter-in-laws and absolutely adores her grandchildren. Soon, she will be a survivor. We love her very much. She is my mother. My Friend.

15 comments:

Sue xx said...

Melinda so sorry to hear about your Mum. She sounds like an amazing woman and her strength will get her through!

M said...

Oh Melinda, my best thoughts are with your Mum (Mom). And also with you and all those who will rally around her and help her get through this.

Fairlie said...

Anxious days, indeed. Thinking of you and all your family, and looking forward to when you add 'survivor' to that amazing list that describes your very special mom.

Aunty Evil said...

Tell your mum I am sending her a great big, squeezy hug. You can deliver it for me Melinda. She sounds like someone who deserves a big, squeezy hug, just for being who she is.

Sorry I cannot invite her to my place, the clutter would get her down.

Jane said...

Oh, Melinda! I'm so sorry to hear this news!! Your Mom is such a fine strong woman. I have a sense of what you are going through since as you know we are just finished with Mom's reconstruction. If you need me e-mail me. If your Mom would like to talk to mine she'd be happy to help support her through it or just give her a first hand accountof the process. You are all in my prayers and in my heart.

kirsty said...

Much love to a Fellow Towel Folder. And to you, too, M. Hugs hugs hugs to you both.

Stomper Girl said...

Of course she will be a survivor, because we're all out here cheering and praying for her.

Cx.

It is important to fold your towels the right way.

Melinda said...

Oh yes, the towels. They really do fit better on the shelf if you fold them her way.

We have met the oncologist and like him a lot. She has Invasive Ductile Carcinoma (Sarcoma?) which is the most common type of breast cancer. The cancer is on her nipple and more tests need to be done to see if this is the origin point or if the origin point is somewhere else and has spread to the skin. If it has spread to the skin, it will need to be treated more aggressively.

Mother will have an MRI, PET and CT scans in the coming week. We will meet with the oncologist on Tuesday of next week again to determine more accurately what we are dealing with and how treatment should go forth. Thank you all for your warm thoughts and prayers. It means a lot.

bluemountainsmary said...

Dearest Melinda - thinking of you at this difficult time - I have a friend travelling this road and my sister in law is in remission - what a disease this is -
and that it is your mother - that's so tough!

But so are you and I know you will help your mom fight this fight.

And btw - one day my family and I are going to descend on yours for what sounded like an amazing thanksgiving meal...

tracey petersen said...

Your support and the love of your little ones will keep her going. Thinking of you all.

Sussanah said...

I bet she's thankful for you honey

Team SAK said...

Melinda- sending you and your mum all our best wishes. As I know only too well cancer just doesn't affect the patient but their family and friends as well. All your cyber buddies are here for you. Spend time on yourself so you are in the best position to be there for your mum. love , S xoxo

caramaena said...

Oh Melinda - huge hugs coming your way, along with all the positive vibes I have, for your mum.

You wrote an absolutely beautiful post about your mum. She sounds like an amazing person.

precious pink pumps said...

I have my cheering pom poms going off! I am so sorry that this has happened.
Put one foot in front of the other. She sounds like an amazing mum, grandmother, woman....she is in my thoughts. x

Frogdancer said...

My mum went through this about 4 or 5 years ago. It really gives everyone a bit of a shake up, doesn't it? My mum is fine, and I'm sending good vibes your way so that you'll be able to say the same thing.
Chin up...

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