Tag Archives: Lung Cancer

A Confession and Suppressed Grief

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So, for the past week I have been going through the motions of a mindless eater. Actually that isn’t entirely true, I have knowingly gone into the cupboards and found the hidden Nutella jar (by the way it is either heavenly goodness or the devil, I haven’t decided which yet), eaten spoonfuls of peanut butter & Nutella mixture, taken handfuls of cereal, eaten ice cream and basically anything I wanted. Now, for a normal person this might be okay, however I am recently back at my Weight Watchers lifetime weight and so this has put all of that in jeopardy.  I dread the scale next week…. Sorry Susan, advance warning of my breakdown.

Not only have my eating habits been bad, but also I have not written a single word or edited a single page in my novel in the past 6 days. I am not reading, and I am spending mindless hours a day trying to Crush Candy…..

The question is why?

I had an epiphany moment a bit ago when I opened a piece of mail from Cobb Hospice. Reminding me, As if that wasn’t all that has been going through my head since the start of September, that we are coming up on the 1-Year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

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Aha!
In all my mindless acts, I do not have to think.
If I start to think, I might be reminded that I have lived the past year of my life without my mother, my best friend, my daughter’s Nana. Without these mindless acts, I would have to think and realize how much I miss her and how I would love to just have her arms around me one more time in a comforting hug.  I might have to realize that I finally wrote and finished a story AFTER she died and so she was not able to read it. I might have to register when my daughter says she misses her Nana. I might have to take off the mask of “I am fine, I am strong.”
I might have to allow myself to grieve for her again.  

I guess the little box I had this all tucked away in is getting wet and soggy and breaking down.

For a moment, I will allow myself to cry and be mad and sad and happy she isn’t in pain anymore. I will feel sorry for myself and for my daughter for not getting more time with her. And then, I will wipe away my tears, put on my happy face, and put it all back in a new little box and tuck it away.

Of course, in 3 days on September 9th, when we come to the “actual” day that Momma went to be with Daddy in Heaven then I might have to pull that box back out and allow myself another good cry.

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Attacking my Bucket List

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I apologize to those followers out there who have not heard anything from me in the past couple weeks. I assure you this is not a pattern only clearing up some final items with my late mother’s estate and focusing on writing my novel.  I am winding down towards the end of it and the momentum of the last few chapters are keeping me moving and writing.

But on to today’s Post….

I am well on my way to completing #11 on my bucket list!
Walk in the 3 Day Breast Cancer Awareness walk

Yesterday I signed up to walk the 3-Day – 60 Mile Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk here in Atlanta in October.

For years I have wanted to walk in this walk. But it seems like whenever it came around I had something else going on, a sick parent or I was pregnant, or I had a baby girl and couldn’t leave her. But this year it is all lining up.

I don’t have a Breast Cancer story because we don’t have any Breast Cancer in my family.

But we have unfortunately been touched by other types of Cancer, my mother lost her battle with Lung and Brain Cancer last September and my Grandmother died with Lung Cancer last month.

Both of my father’s parents died from Cancer before I was married and I had a 12 year old niece die from Brain Cancer 20 years ago. She would have been a lovely young woman now.

I believe that if we can find a cure for ANY kind of Cancer it is a WIN.

So I have signed up and now I am just going to have to get to work training my body to be ready to walk 60 miles in 3 days, and that is only 7 months away.

I will need to raise a total of $2,300 to walk in October. If you are interested in donating to help me fulfill my goal to be able to walk it would truly be appreciated.
Every $1 donation will help me reach my goal.

And if you have anyone in your family that is fighting, lost or won their battle with Breast Cancer and you want me to Add an Honorary button for them please let me know and I will be happy to do so.

Donate to help me walk the 3-Day.
To donate for me you will click the little pink box above the thermometer that says “Click to Donate to Shelly in 2013” and it will go into my account. None of the money comes to me personally it all goes to the foundation.

Goodbye Grandmother, You Will Be Missed!

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It is eerily strange. The last 2 lines I wrote yesterday. “Hug your family close. You never know when you are creating your very last memory.”  Not long after I wrote that yesterday those came true, as we lost my grandmother.
Her heart simply stopped beating. She was tired and heartbroken from my mother’s passing last September. She was battling with Cancer herself and she was going to turn 90 years old this year.

4 Generations at my daughters 1st birthday.

4 Generations at my daughters 1st birthday.

I got the call yesterday of her collapsing and rushed to the hospital. As I was leaving our neighborhood a small deer ran across the road in front of me.

It was at that moment that I felt that my grandmother was saying goodbye to me.
It probably sounds strange but my grandmother hit at least 3 deer with her car in her lifetime. It may have been more than 3 even. Seeing that deer made me think of her and I knew at that moment she was running free.

My grandmother lived a full life, 89 years of life; up until this past December when she was diagnosed with Lung Cancer she had hardly ever been sick a day in her life. She still drove her own car and lived alone. She took care of herself, went to church every Sunday and truly enjoyed life. When people met her they couldn’t believe she was 89 maybe 75 but that was about it.

She was a God fearing woman who loved to write, sing, draw, and paint. She was very creative and the prayer warrior in our family.

She will be truly missed.

She is in the Presence of her Maker

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It has been a few months since I have written anything here.

It has taken me this long to be able to sit down at the computer and write without bawling my eyes out.

On September 9th my mother went to sleep for the last time. She was surrounded by her best friend, her pastor, and her sister. They told me they were playing her favorite song on the CD player, holding her hands and praying with her. She did not struggle; she did not feel any pain. She just simply took one last breath and left our world and stood in front of her maker.

I wasn’t with her but I think she wanted it that way. I think she was trying to keep myself and my brother from the pain of seeing her take her last breath. My mother was that kind of person. She was the most kind, generous, and loving woman you could have ever met. She loved her family and she would stand down giants to take care of us.

It was hard the last few months as I watched her slowly die here. But I wouldn’t change that for the world. My mother took care of us all our lives and I was able to give back a little to her, to take care of at a time in her life when she truly needed it.

I have been through all the stages of grief and I am beginning to see the light at the end. To realize I don’t have to feel guilty that life goes on. I don’t see her ghosts (those little reminders) in the rooms as much anymore. I don’t come down the stairs expecting to see her as often anymore. I don’t hear a crash and feel my heart drop that something happened to her anymore.

Stormy still asks about her often. But she says now that Nana lives in her heart like Jesus. It makes me terribly sad and terribly happy all at the same time. I am so glad that she got to know her Nana; even it was just for a little while. And I truly believe that Stormy is the only reason that mom fought her Cancer so hard at the beginning. She was determined she was going to see the child she had been waiting on for so long.

Life does go on. I didn’t get to give mom all the things I wanted to give her; a cruise, a visit to the aquarium, and many more things. She knows I tried! I only hope that I am able to give Stormy all the things she wants in life.

If I could give you any advice it would be don’t wait for the “right” moment to do those things you want to do in life, make the “right” moment right now. You never know how much time you have left on this earth.

The Ghost of the Woman she was

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My mother is gone. Don’t misunderstand she is still alive but the woman I knew as my mother has faded away. The Cancer has taken away her strength. The Cancer has taken away her mind.

Growing up my mother was always my rock. She was my soft place to land. It wasn’t easy growing up in my home. My father loved us but he was very hard on us. It wasn’t until after he passed away that I had the light bulb moment and realized he was bi-polar. When he was good to us he gave us the world. But when it was bad, it was very bad. During those times my mother looked out for us choosing to divert my father’s anger away from us and onto her.

She was a workhorse! She painted and cleaned apartments, she cleaned out the storage rooms they bought and sold, lifting heavy items, she even worked on the van most of the time when it broke down.

She was a listener and a giver and now she is fading away while I watch.

 I enjoyed having my parents over for dinner and playing a few hands of Canasta. Dad was a real competitor like me so we always made mom and Tony partner up while dad I kicked their butt… Oh the fun times.  She was a great cook; she always cooked those big Sunday dinners that you would expect with all the sides. She made some mean Chicken and Dumplings and Meatloaf!

It is so hard to watch her slip away. The once strong woman now has to depend on me to pick her up and take her to the bathroom. The once strong woman now has to struggle to get the words that she is thinking out and very often the ones she speaks is not the ones her mind is trying to say. This morning she told me she didn’t need to paint her breath. I never figured out what she was trying to say with those strange words.

My heart longs to be able to sit with my mother and have one of the conversations we would have had a few years ago, talking for hours about something as simple as the current books we were reading. But all we can talk about now, all she can maintain in a conversation are short answers and short thoughts. My heart breaks for those moments.

Cancer is an awful disease. It not only kills but it robs you of your life while you are still living. Don’t take your relationships for granted. Enjoy your friends and family because you never know when you will lose them.

I look at my mother and then at my daughter.  I want to make sure I give my daughter a ton of moments to remember, a ton of conversations and love and friendship. Because I realize now that at the end of my life those are the moments that will be most precious to her.