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Nothing Can Hold Family Down - Especially My Mom!

Aug 1, 2008
I looked over at Dad and saw the pain in his eyes and immediately knew Mom was really sick. I had watched her over the last month or two, lose weight, get these dark circles under her eyes, and call in sick too work more times in one month than I had seen her do in 10 years. I couldn't breathe. I could only stare, mouth hung open, tears waiting to spill.

I had never been so terrified. Mom went on to tell us about her breast cancer and that, yes, she had known, for several months. She had not yet decided what treatment she would accept, if any, and she now was ready to bring her family together and make a decision.

Mom and Dad met 25 years ago. She was 18 and Dad was 22. It was at the community college that they ran into each other in the cafeteria. They both said it was love at first sight and from then on they couldn't be separated. Mom finished her degree in business, while Dad finished with a degree in electrical engineering. 7 years later I came along, then 8 years after that my brother.

It was just the four of us. There we sat in this big, beautiful house they so lovingly made our home, listening to such news that the concept was almost too much to grasp. Not my Mom! My vibrant, hard working, tender, energetic, filled with love of life Mom. My best friend.

Breast cancer comes in various forms and Moms happened to be ductal carcinoma. This is the most common and the most invasive type of breast cancer to have. Mom was in Stage II meaning it had spread to her nearby lymph nodes and she didn't have time to keep waiting while she decided what to do. We all agreed that she would immediately have the surgery. A bilateral mastectomy (both breast removed). The follow-up plan was for her to have chemotherapy and radiation. The more aggressive the treatment, the less likely the chance of recurrence.

I spent the entire night praying and searching the internet for every last scrap of information I could find regarding breast cancer and its diagnoses, symptoms, treatments, and prognoses. I learned a great deal, cried even more, and prayed even more than that. With no sleep, puffy, red eyes, a stuffy nose and an unsteady gait, I opened my door to meet the day. The day my Mom would have her breast removed in an attempt to save her life and save us from the horror of losing her.

18 hours later I am home on my Dads insistence to get some much needed sleep. I looked at my keyboard and knew I had to let these words out. I am terrified, hopeful, exhausted and thankful for every minute.

Never again will I take family for granted.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing author and editor of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and reviews visit Jetfly Family & Parenting Blog now. Also, for the best up-to-date related online products, check out Jetfly Cancer Survival Book Shop for todays current online deals.
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