Alright, breathe in, chest back, shoulders up… and breathe out.
Repeat, several times.
Do you feel that? The ultimate sigh of relief.
I know I do.
I feel like I have been holding my breath for the last 20 weeks. Mom, told me back in March about her diagnosis and ever since then it has felt like I have been breathing underwater. Trying to catch my breath and grasp the reality that my mom has breast cancer.
Cancer that is in her left breast and very close to her heart.
A large unforgiving tumor.
So you can understand the tears that lodged in my eyes as I watched my mom finish her chemo yesterday.
Her last treatment. (Fingers crossed that the cancer doesn’t come back.)
Relief flooded through me right alongside the pride I felt. I am so proud of my mom for going through this with a bravery, a strength, and a positivity that I could only dream about.
She smiled her way through it. Not letting cancer ruin her joy. I am so proud to know that I am her daughter. The woman with a confident smile and easy-going attitude is my mother.
This has been the longest, shortest, most emotional twenty weeks of my adult life.
Maybe even my whole life.
I actually clapped when the nurse took the needle out for the last time. She made it. She did it! Way to stickin’ go mom! I am so excited she is done and i’ll be even more excited next week when she doesn’t have chemo and begins to feel better.
The last couple weeks have been filled with activities gearing up for the end.
My mom invited all of her supporters to a Painting With a Twist class. Which, if you don’t know what that is, it is basically a group of people trying to paint the same object. The twist part is meant to be for alcohol but we had strawberry lemonade instead. I can honestly say that being at that class was the most fun I have had in a long while. I of course cannot paint and was definitely the worst in the class. I am not saying this because I have no self-esteem, I am saying this because it is true. I am much better at the digital arts. At one point I messed up so badly that I couldn’t stop laughing, eventually the tears came because I was laughing so hard.
I was causing such a ruckus that mom had to come over to my section to see what the heck was going on. Her immediate response was, “OH MY!” Causing most of the class to drop their brushes so that they could take a gander at my “skills.” The teacher had to fix my painting more then once. It was both humorous and embarrassing.
After the class my mom treated us all to the China Garden. Which was very generous considering there were about twenty people. However, several people did slip me money and I snuck it into mom’s wallet. Haha clever girl…
At the dinner mom stood up, greeted everyone and gave out personal thank you’s to each and every person there. I am certain that only a few people at the table had dry eyes by the end of it.
It was amazing to see my mom give her heart to lose who have loved her through this.
She did not cower away in shame of her diagnosis instead she wore it like a fashion trend. She truly did chemo with more gusto, will-power, courage, and light then I ever thought possible.
At the end of it all she made cupcakes, salad rolls, and drank sparkling water in a plastic wine glass, all while wearing a gold crown.
She owned it.
I am so glad it is over now and we can let it be in the past as chemo memories to hopefully never be had again. All we can do now is move forward. The big decision is coming. Lumpectomy or Mastectomy?