“WOW” written upside down spells “MOM.” Coincidence? I think not…
Aren’t moms amazing? All moms are, but I’m convinced that moms who also become caregivers are superheroes in disguise. My pre-cancer self had no idea what it took to be a caregiver, but my post-cancer self knows that at times, my caregivers had it worse than me.
While there are so many people that have helped me through the crazy, awful, and emotional past several months, I honestly don’t know how I would’ve gotten through it all without my mom.
She was there through all of it, the good, the bad, the worse, and everything in between. I wanted to take some time to share some of the things that she has been through with me that I’m sure many other caregivers can relate to.
She’s the one who was there for almost all of my appointments. She had to hear the shocking news with me and the had to deal with me reacting to finding out I had cancer. She waited for hours in waiting rooms with me which many times would last a full day. She sat there while I had my infusions, went to all of the tough appointments, and was also there for the happy appointments.
She’s the one who kept me focused when I was feeling overwhelmed. This was especially true in the beginning when so much information was constantly being thrown my way. I remember she would make little to-do lists for me and keep a notebook full of my never ending list of doctors including their phone numbers and addresses. I remember that being such a big help.
She’s the one who kept my mind off the bad things when possible. On the day of my first chemo treatment, you would probably guess I was a nervous wreck. The truth is, I was actually having the best day that I had in a while! My mom and I made silly videos on my phone, took selfies, and got green juices which we both loved. We were more worried about making sure we had the right angles and lighting in our pictures than we were about my upcoming treatment. I don’t even remember thinking about chemo until I got called in to my chemo room. Somehow, she made that day fun and kept me distracted.
She was the one who had to deal with my emotional meltdowns at almost every single appointment. I wish I was exaggerating, but this happened more often than I led anyone to believe. I’ve never been a big crier but during treatment especially, it seemed like everything made me cry. The stress, anticipatory nausea, worry, and every other emotion would all come out the minute I stepped foot in the cancer center. Every time, even if I wasn’t there for chemo. I think she’s seen me cry more times this year than I’ve ever cried in my entire life.
She’s seen me at my absolute worst. She even held my hair back for me while I was sick during treatment when she could’ve taken the easy way out and just took my wig off LOL 😉 I’m not making that up!
She was the one who had to shave my hair off when it was falling out. We tried to make it fun, but I imagine it’s not really a fun thing for any mom to have to do.
She’s the one that would call my doctor late at night when I was dealing with unusual side effects from chemo. This happened after just about every treatment. At first, the staff at my oncologist’s office made me get on the phone to verify that my mom had permission to talk on my behalf, but she would call so often that they actually stopped asking lol! The funniest story was from early in my treatment. A day or two after chemo, I got the hiccups and they lasted for 2 days! My mom was so nervous that she actually called the oncology office and told them that I had hiccups and said she was worried lol! I wish I could’ve seen the nurses reaction to that phone call. I’m sure they had a good laugh over it, but that story shows how attentive she was.
She’s the one that brought me food when I couldn’t get out of bed. After chemo, I’d be in bed for at least 3-5 days. After that, I would slowly start to get up for an hour one day, a few more the next, and possibly even stay out of bed for half a day after that. When I would eventually feel well enough to eat, she would make me all kinds of weird meals based on what I thought I could get down. Usually it was either jello or some form of potatoes.
She’s the one that took care of Chloe (my dog) when I couldn’t. On that stretch of 4-5 days when I couldn’t seem to get out of bed, Chloe was always right there with me. Chloe deserves her own little caregiver day because she wouldn’t leave my side when I was sick. She would hardly eat anything and only got out of bed in the morning when I actually had to push her off the bed so my mom could let her go to the bathroom.
On top of all this, she is also battling cancer herself. My mom is living with stage 4 metastatic thyroid cancer (completely unrelated to my lymphoma). When we first found out about her diagnosis, I convinced her to start a blog. I’m not really sure why I did that because I knew nothing about blogging at the time, I just thought it may help to get some of her thoughts out and could possibly help someone else. I never knew that one day I’d be taking my own advice. This isn’t something she talks about often and if you were to meet her, you’d never know the battle she’s fighting. In her blog, she talks about how she’s living with this disease and how she has changed her lifestyle as a result. If you’re interested, you can check out her blog here or you can visit her Facebook page here. Feel free to send her a message and say hi! I get so many thoughtful and encouraging messages and I’d love for my mom to receive some love as well. She deserves it more than I do.
Thank you all for reading and if you’re lucky enough to have your mom in your life, give her a big hug and remind her of how much you love her! Also, make sure you let all of the caregivers out there know how much they are appreciated. They deserve to be celebrated every day of the year.
BTW-My dad and the rest of my family have all been amazing through everything also and I don’t want to downplay everything he’s done for me. Together they make a pretty good caregiving team and I’m so lucky to have them both.