Yesterday you said "I did it."
"I took my chances and beat the odds."
Tomorrow you can take a deep breath.
Taking comfort knowing it's over.
Now you can begin to heal.
Begin to gain your muscle and strength back.
Speak your many words of thanks.
From deep inside your heart.
Know that you are loved,
Appreciated and an inspiration.
It seems like forever ago that Jess created Mom's Blog and wrote the first post titled "The News" beginning with, "After a few months of different tests to figure out what's wrong with mom we finally heard the news, the news we didn't want to hear, things we were afraid to hear. The thoughts run through your mind as you quickly dismiss them, thinking to yourself, no, this can't happen to our mom. Cancer? Stomach cancer? She couldn't even say the words...."
I remember where I was when I heard the news, feeling panic when the surgeon gave her sentence to us straight after finding the worst, the way she looked in the hospital, the funny things she said on her pain medicine, reading her comforting scriptures from the Bible, falling asleep with her at night holding hands, and even doing a "shot" of mineral oil with her for... you know.
I will also never forget how I felt through this experience. I never felt alone with all of the support we had from family, friends, and strangers. And when no one was around I had God to talk to and comfort me. I will never forget the moment Jess, Jacie, Josh and I stood in the hospital and held each other for minutes straight when we weren't so sure we could do it. We gave each other strength to stay positive around Mom when inside we were just as scared as she was. Fortunately, we were usually good at making the best out of the worst and doing anything it took just to see even a slight grin on her face.
Through it all I gained more than what I missed out on. I regained relationships with family that had been missing for too long, confidence that things always find a way of working out, the feeling that we can do nearly anything if we say we can, being able to look on the bright side... no matter what, and learning what is really important in life. Mom now has a relationship with her sister and old friends. They make a point to get her out to have some fun on her good days. You could say they brought the "old" Kerry back. The one full of smiles and surprisingly good dance moves, hehe. I thank them for that no matter how embarrassed I ever looked.
I don't know what it is like to have cancer and I hope I never do. I just know what it is like to help someone get through it. I can't imagine how much courage it takes to keep yourself going each day. To wake up on a treatment day knowing that in hours you are not going to know what is going on, then know that you are going to feel like a train hit you for a week or more. I don't know how Mom prepared herself for any of her treatments or her surgery. Maybe she thought about her children and how she wanted to do it for us because she isn't ready to give up, or maybe she didn't prepare much at all and just did what she had to because she knew what she was supposed to do. However, I do know that I am so glad it is over. And if for some reason that stupid cancer comes back someday, I know I will be ready for it.
My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one to cancer. I can't imagine... well I try not to imagine what that would be like after such a long and hard fight. My advice is to keep your faith and a positive attitude, because it may be what keeps you alive. To those who have not been touched by cancer, give thanks for your health, pray for strength and healing for those who are still fighting, and pray that my Mom's cancer never comes back.
As Shawn said on the blog after Mom's benefit, "She truly makes this world a better place to live." and I am sure that those who know her feel the same way.
Thanks and Love, Jenelle