The Strength to Fight…

For My Mom, My Hero

My blogging began back in 2012 with the onset of my husbands Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It became a way to communicate his treatment to the masses and it also became a coping mechanism for me. At times the horrors of cancer and other times humor. It was cathartic for me to put fingers to keys and express all emotions at that time.

With his remission I closed the blog and felt I no longer had a reason to speak. Now with my recent creation of this page for family history and my bourbon journey I have once again found my voice. Whether anyone cares to hear it or read it is another thing.

Who knew that eventually I would be documenting yet another cancer nightmare.

About two weeks ago my 77 year old mother called me to help her find a female primary care doctor. She had discovered a couple lumps in her left breast and needed a new doctor. My mom is very old school and modest, so the thought of her regular male doc touching her was not happening. She got in that week and was set up with a Mammogram. Within a week I was sitting in a procedure room while a surgeon was performing a needle biopsy. That was less than a week ago. Yesterday the call came in that it was confirmed. She has breast cancer.

Having gone through a full year of treatments with my husband and some relapses that followed. I was trying my best to stay strong and not jump to conclusions. So the past couple weeks I’ve not shed tears, I’ve pushed fears aside and dismissed any rational thought of what could be. Denial is a river and I was doing the back stroke down that bitch.

The the call yesterday brought everything front and center. The dam broke and the tears fell. My head still pounds with the pain of crying and worry. But this time it’s a bit different.

For the past couple years I’ve witnessed my mom age faster than I ever thought possible. Being an ex smoker she’s dealt with COPD and been on oxygen for the past 15 years or so. The past couple months have seen a dramatic decrease in her health. She was always tiny and now barely four foot nine and if lucky ninety pounds she is a shadow of what she once was.

With Kevin, his cancer began when he was a healthy 180# cyclist. He was strong and able bodied to handle whatever treatments lay before him. I watched with horror when the treatments took their toll and he lay lifeless with a stare of such darkness it still haunts me. But he was victorious.

I’ve already worried about my mom’s health. In recent months besides the oxygen and basic frailness. She grows more and more confused. Signs of early dementia are ever present. She asperates if she drinks too fast. She is tired with a short walk through the house. She suffers panic attacks just to leave the house. This nightmare was already full thrust. Now it’s kicked up a few notches with the diagnosis.

The logically Tawnya ponders the what ifs and possibilities of treatment but the realistic Tawnya knows that even a surgery is out of the question. She’s just so weak already. What can honestly be done?

Here I go again, jumping to conclusions and letting my fears take over. We haven’t even seen an oncologist yet. What the hell am I talking about this for? Maybe it’s not that bad.

But then I think about the sadness when she’s confused. When we hang up from a telephone conversation and later in the day she’s forgotten we spoke. I’ve prayed so hard that God not let this evil disease of Alzheimer’s take her away. Maybe this is his answer.

Mom about 1964
That smile!!!

The waiting game is now in full throttle. And I am NOT a patient person. I need to know the answers. How bad? What’s the plan? I need these answers so I can feel in control. Even though it’s delusional for me to think that way. Some sense of control even if its fake is better than nothing.

Hurry up and wait has never been my virtue.