Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Mommy

I should be ashamed of myself.

Since starting this blog, I've written from the heart without holding back. But I just realized I've never written about one of the main reasons I'm fighting as hard as I am.

My mom.

Yes, I know she's been a main character of just about every one of my entries, but I've never taken the time to talk about how truly amazing my mom really is.

Now is the time to correct that oversight.

I never expected anyone to give up anything for me. But my mom has given up everything. Before cancer, I used to joke that my mom had more of a social life than anyone I knew. From meetings to movies to Broadway shows, she really knew how to pack in her days. Her schedule was full from the moment she'd get up in the morning until the moment she'd close her eyes at night. And to top it off, she and my dad had recently purchased a house in Florida, and hoped to spend a lot of time there enjoying the relaxation and time with their friends.

But all of that changed last April.

My parents were supposed to leave for Florida the week I was diagnosed, but for some reason, something told my mom not to go. They postponed their trip for just a few days, so I asked my mom to join me at the gynecologist's office for the results of my LEEP, which I expected to be totally normal.

Obviously not the case.

"They did find some cancer there..." Dr. Ferrante explained, as I stared at him in disbelief. My mom was there to hold me as I cried. I'm sure she was holding back her own tears, but she never showed them to me. She was strong and positive and kept me from losing my mind.

They never did go to Florida. From that moment on, my mom cleared her schedule and put me first. She accompanied me to every single appointment with the countless specialists I needed to see. She never said, "I'm busy" or "I have something to do that day." I was her only concern. If she had a prior engagement, she'd cancel it without a thought to be there for me.

My mom slept at the hospital with me when I had my surgery. She dropped everything and ran into the city at midnight (twice) when I had to go back in for infections. She was tireless. She never showed weakness and she never complained. If there was something I needed, she was there. No questions asked.

Over the last six months, that never changed. Not only did my mom keep up on all of my medical needs, she went far beyond that. I can't even count the times she's cooked for me or cleaned my house. She's been here to manage the mountains of paperwork and bills that have collected on my kitchen counter. She's organized my kitchen, made the home office workable for Jimmi, put away laundry, taken the kids on outings and tended to my pets.

But the one thing my mom can do that no one else can, is talk me off a ledge. I must call her 15 times a day just for reassurance. "Mommy, I hate how I look." "Mommy, I hate how I feel." "Mommy, when will this stop?" "Mommy, my kids must think I abandoned them." "Mommy, I can't do this anymore." "Mommy, it hurts." "Mommy, I don't want to die."

She always knows what to say, and she will always talk to me. She never tells me to stop complaining. She never tells me to just deal with it. She never tells me she doesn't want to hear it anymore. She says, "I know it's hard. You just have to keep fighting." "I wish I could make it better." "Your kids know you love them." "Think positive."

I don't know how I got so lucky. I've heard the expression, "You can't choose your family." But, quite honestly, if I could, I would absolutely choose to have my mom.

I love you, Mommy.

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