Browse Tag by Cancer Awareness
JSYK

Since I’ve Been Gone or TL;DR

If you follow my blog you will have noticed that there was a long time of inactivity. The end of 2017 in to 2018 was a series of unexpected tragedies in my family. Many people won’t be able to relate to the deep sorrow of losing a pet but my best friend of 16 years died and it was unbearable. Only a month after Bunny’s passing another of my cats died. Frankie had feline lymphocytic leukemia and it was so expensive. He was terribly sick during the four days I spent in the hospital with Bunny; he died a month to the day after she did.

But the loss didn’t end with cats. In the beginning of January my baby sister called me because she was scared for my mom.

My mom was diagnosed with HER2 breast cancer in December of 2016. She started chemo treatments that following January, then declared breast cancer free in August of 2017. For Christmas of that year she had sent me my grandmother’s wedding ring; a ring that my mom had worn since she had inherited it. It arrived in my gifts that year with a note that until then she hadn’t been able to get it off her fingers. I thought nothing of that comment; I talked to my mom on the phone all the time and she complained about being overweight. It made no sense when my sister started telling me mom was suddenly too thin. I thought maybe she was just not used to a now ‘unfluffy’ mom. I couldn’t deny my sister was concerned though. Still I had brushed it off as something related to the treatments my mom was still getting, she had finished chemo but maybe it was a side effect of the continued IV therapy.

I was wrong. Continue Reading

Cancer Awareness, Hashtag, Interviews: He Said, She Said, Uncategorized

Hashtag: #CancerAwareness – Why My Mom Wouldn’t Want You to Smoke by Grey Kelleher Whitfield from NIGHT GAMES (Collette West)

Collette-Hashtag-CA

Why My Mom Wouldn’t Want You to Smoke

by Grey Kelleher Whitfield from NIGHT GAMES
When I was twenty-three, my mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Before that, she had smoked a pack a day for nearly twenty years. Growing up, I remember bringing her that all too familiar red and white Marlboro box with the cheap BIC lighter rubber-banded around the middle. Looking back, I wish I’d thrown them away or hid them somewhere where she’d never find them. Then maybe she’d still be with us.
But my mom wasn’t a quitter. No siree, she never gave up on anything. She fought cancer with everything she had in her. Too bad it wasn’t a fair fight. The cancer metastasized so quickly in her lungs that the chemo and radiation she received just couldn’t contain it. It spread, making her follow-up PET scan light up like the night sky on the Fourth of July. It was everywhere, all through her body from her intestines to her brain. The invader had taken hold with no intention of yielding to whatever modern medicine had to throw at it.

 

And that made me angry. I blamed the oncologists for not being good enough to cure her. I blamed the technicians for putting her through all that torture for nothing. I blamed myself for being a terrible daughter, turning to destructive means to cope with the fact that I was about to lose my mother.

Continue Reading