Last year my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She got invited for her scheduled mammogram, like every women over the age of 50 does. Unfortunately for my mum they had found something on her scan and she needed to be seen. She got asked to come in for some tests.
While all this was going on, I was completely unaware. My wedding was a few weeks away and it was all hands on deck with the organising.
The wedding and honeymoon came and went and on Monday 28th Oct 2019 I got a strange phone call from my dad saying that evening can me and my brother come down to their house because him and mum need to talk to us. Of course my head started wandering. What could it be? Has someone died? Is my grandma ill? I said no problem as soon as my daughter has been put to bed i will be right there. I rang my newlywed husband and told him about the call. We were both baffled. I tried not to think about it as 7pm was 6 hours away!!
Finally, the time came for me to get in the car and head to mum and dads. I allowed myself to think what could be so important that 1. It couldn't be said over the phone and 2. Both me and my had to be present. My journey, which normally takes 5 mins took 15 mins due to roadworks and in that time i had worked it out. It had been about 6 weeks since my mums mammogram and she hadn't told me she had got her results.
Now most of you might think "well why would she?" "Why did you even know she had been for her mammogram?"
The reason for this is my mum has already been down the Big C route. When I was a kid she had cervical cancer.
As I walked through the front door my mum was sat in her usual spot on the sofa, but this time she was under a blanket with a box of paracetamol at her side.
My mum went through her day at the hospital, which consisted of several tests where needles and tubes had been inserted into her breast. The doctor said it didn't look good but they wasn't 100% sure and she should get her results next week. That week was hard, nobody likes being in limbo!
The results came back as grade 3 cancer for the mass but the stuff that they wasn't sure if was calcification or not had come back as inconclusive, so my poor mum had to go through the tests all again. Finally, 2 weeks later she got the results and yes, that was cancer too but luckily it wasn't the type that would spread so that was one saving grace.
On the 4th Dec 2019 my mum went in for her op. She got told recovery will be short so she will be right as rain for Christmas day but not to do any heavy lifting and her treatment would start in the new year. We all had a lovely christmas day together and it was wonderful to see my mum with all the grandkids since she hadn't been able to see them for a while due to being sore and needing to rest.
The new year came and my mum went for her appointment to get checked over and discuss the next step. She was healing nicely and had been told she didn't need to have chemotherapy just radiotherapy, which was the best news ever, but they had set up an appointment for her to go see the chemo specialist to go through the benefits of having chemo. When she went to see the specialist they told her as it stands now she has a 80% chance of not getting the cancer back but if she does the chemo as well as radio it will go up to 87%. They gave her all the info of how it's done and what the side effects are and to go away, think about it and let them know in a few days what she desides.
Now my mum is tough as old boots. Up to this point she had be pocked and prodded, sliced and diced and not once complained. This was her decision to make, it's her body, her illness and she should treat it how she wants. Of course I had my option but i didn't want that to interfere with her decision. In the end she decided to go for the chemo. That is one hell of a thing to take on, 8 sessions of chemotherapy every 3 weeks then 28 days of radiotherapy, but like i said, tough as old boots and she said and I quote "I want to be able to see my grandchildren grow up".
My mum is something special. She doesn't hide away from anything, she just runs full speed at it. I admire her ten fold!
She has from today (12th Feb 2020) had her 2nd chemo section and is killing it! Could not be more proud and blownaway by her inner strength.
I am doing the 10,000 steps a day in March for my mum.
You might be able to knock her down but she sure as hell always get back up!!
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