April 22, 2011

It Is What It Is...

I've sat here staring at a blank screen for almost 15 minutes now. Unsure on what to say and how to say it, so I just will...

My mom has breast cancer.

Let me start from the beginning. About a week after I arrived in Illinois, my mom starting mentioning a sharp pain in her left breast. She would chalk it up as a simple pain caused by her many grandchildren climbing up and down her all day long. I urged her to schedule a mammogram. To be honest, it took her a week or two to make the call, but it was finally done.

Wednesday, April 6th was the day. No big deal.

On Friday, April 8th we heard from the doctor. They had found a few calcium deposits, but that is normal for a dialysis patient like herself. However, they also found 4 'suspicious' lumps on her left breast and they referred her to a surgeon right away.

The afternoon of Monday, April 11th had us in Dr. Kathy Widerborg's office. She explained a few possibilities, took a small sample of tissue from the largest lump and made us an appointment for an ultrasound guided biopsy on Wednesday. Things were moving quickly.

Wednesday, April 13th was a long day. My mom had blood drawn at the lab to check her levels (she takes blood thinners for dialysis) and then it was off to her appointment. There must have been a miscommunication somewhere because this office only had her down for an ultrasound and nothing more. A little irritated, we rescheduled for Friday.

We traveled to Morton on Thursday, April 14th for a minor surgery on my mom's arm...unrelated, but still important.

Friday, April 15th my mom had a second mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy of 3 out of 4 lumps in her left breast.

Four days later on April 19th, we went back to Dr. Widerborg's office (the surgeon) where we were sat down and informed that not only did my mom have cancer, but ALL her 'suspicious' areas were indeed cancer.

We learned a lot of other things that day. Things that I am not ready to announce to the world. Things that are going to take time to sink in.

I'm very much still in shock!

We won't know until her surgery if the cancer has spread and it won't be until then that we will know exactly what this journey will be like.

I'm pretty quiet about my feelings on this, but they are there. I AM upset. I AM scared. I even feel sick to my stomach on most days. I'm handling it. I may not cry on the shoulder of everyone I see or know, but this is my way of dealing with it.

It's not just my mom that has cancer...it's my best friend. She's my first call in the morning and {usually} my last call before bed. She the one I call first when something big happens or when I need advice. She's the one I ask for opinions before I make an important decision. She knows my good, my bad and my very ugly! It's not the journey of fighting the cancer that scares me, it's the thought of living one single day without my mom.

I cannot imagine not being able to pick up the phone and hearing her voice. I cannot imagine a day without seeing her face. I cannot imagine my babies growing up without her in their lives.

For years I have lived with the fear that my mom will die young and far too early. With her polycystic kidneys, I've known the fear of having a sick mom my whole life. I've learned to live with these feelings and it became my new 'normal'. I guess with her diagnosis last week, all of those emotions have made their way back. I'm now more scared than I have been in years.

Everyday I tell my mom...It is what it is. Let's not live for yesterday, but for today. One test at a time, one day at a time, one breath at a time. We will fight this. We will destroy this.

My mom has breast cancer.

Many of you probably remember me mentioning breast cancer just a few months back when my mother-in-law was diagnosed. Yes, both my mother and my husbands mother were diagnosed within 4 months of each other. I am so happy to announce that she had her last day of radiation yesterday and has beat this battle!!

We are just one big family full of 'boobie cancer', as the twins call it!!


Ashley said...

Prayers for you, your mom & your family.

sharon h said...

sarah prayers for you and your mom my twin has been battling breast cancer for three years hang in she will beat this

Hillary said...

My prayers go out to you Sarah, I'm so sorry for the bad news!

Lori said...


Valerie said...

I feel for you. My mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 1995. I was 18. She had very aggressive treatment and stem cell transplant treatment with chemo and radiation. It has been 16 years and she is cancer free. Make sure you are aggressive and comfortable with treatment. Had we settled with the first oncologist my mom would not be with us today.

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