If you’ve not been fortunate enough to enjoy a Sunday dinner at my mom’s house… you haven’t really lived. Don’t let her 4’10”, 95 lb frame, or the fact that she doesn’t have her own HGTV cooking show fool you – Ruth is a culinary GENIUS. I’m convinced, in fact, that my first husband married me for my mother’s cooking.
It was a Sunday gathering like so many others: incredible food, family, fun, reminiscing about the days past and sharing plans for the days ahead. And like a well placed scene in a Lifetime TV drama, it all came to a screeching halt when my mom’s tiny frame collapsed onto the floor.
Two dizzy spells the month prior were attributed to the heat. Easy enough to accept as a plausible explanation, since both incidences occurred on very warm days while she was out and about running errands with my dad. Funny now is the memory of her trying to convince us that she didn’t need to go to the hospital, after we had just scraped her up off the floor. But it was time to get some answers. Clearly, something was putting her well being at risk.
Four days in the hospital and several tests would reveal the culprit – a 7 cm tumor on her lungs that was partially wrapped around her pulmonary artery. This tumor was unpredictably causing a squeeze on the artery, thus interfering with her blood flow, and resulting in the dizzy spells. A biopsy the following day would determine the precise enemy we were facing – an inoperable Stage IV squamous cell lung cancer.
Okay, who just hit me? Within a matter of days I had received 3 horrendous blows that would take out even the most seasoned prize fighter. I was feeling a pain deep down inside that I didn’t recognize because I had never felt it before. All the memories that we hadn’t yet created were flooding my mind. I looked at my mom; her head up, shoulders back and confidence unfailing and I was proud to have the blood of this mini warrior princess churning through my veins. I needed to get over myself because this wasn’t about me. This was about putting my big girl panties on and getting in the ring with my mom, standing toe-to-toe in battle against this giant we must now face.
The word cancer has no power except the power we give it and I choose to give it NONE. While I have every respect for the physicians whose care she will be in, and every expectation that her chemotherapy and radiation treatments will be effective, I place my hope in God, and it is He alone who I acknowledge as the Source for her healing. And it is by that faith that I will declare on this day, with all power and authority, that my mom is cancer free.
“Be thankful yes but don’t play poor pitiful pearl. Be thankful for where you are and tell people about your life.” ~Eileen Fulton in 40+ and Fabulous