Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mom's Story: What a Difference A Year Makes

In celebrating and giving thanks for today, I think it's important to remember where we've been.  Today marks the one year anniversary of Mom's journey with breast cancer.  Below is the first journal entry I posted on Mom's CaringBridge site, and it's worth reading.  I plan on posting more in days to come.  My mom is a miracle.  God has been there holding our hands and blessing us beyond measure every single step of the way.  It is my hope and prayer that my mom's story can save lives.  It's a reminder for us all to take care of the beautiful and purposeful bodies God gave us!  And even more importantly, Mom's story is a reflection of God's amazing power and love when we make room for Him in our lives.  God is bigger than any fear or any problem we face, just ask Him for help!

This picture was taken at Mom's birthday celebration July 2013

Do As I Say; Not As I Do

Written August 21, 2012 11:19am by Lindsay
This past Tuesday, Meredith and I drove to Mom's with feelings of dread and worry like we have never experienced before. To make a long story short, we realized that Mom had been living in pain for many months. And over the past few weeks, it was getting so bad that all she could do was lay in bed. She had not been to work in weeks. She kept it from us, from friends, from co-workers, and from clients because she was afraid of what the pain meant.

Meredith and I got to Mom and immediately knew her pain was serious, much more than a pulled muscle. Because of Mom's severe fear of doctors and medicine, we literally drug her to an urgent care. There, an x-ray showed fractures to vertebrae in her spine. No one could believe Mom could even walk. The doctors immediately sent us to the ER.

Once we got to the hospital, things happened quickly. Something as simple as asking mom to change into a hospital gown forced her to face the nightmare she had worked so hard to avoid. She asked Mere and me to leave so she could speak to the doctor alone. We did what she asked even though our bodies were trembling with the fear of the unknown.

After what seemed like forever, we walked back into the room. And before we could sit down, she said, " I have to tell you girls something. I have breast cancer. I've had it for three years." Thoughts of denial came flying out of our mouths because this was the first time we had heard any of this, and surely Mom was just scared and paranoid. No one knows for sure if a lump is breast cancer, especially when he/she hasn't been to a doctor in 20 years.

But unfortunately, Mom knew exactly what she was talking about. She found a pea sized lump in her breast three years ago when she was putting on lotion. She prayed for it to go away and avoided looking at it. Over time, it grew. In March, around the time of Mere's wedding, her lump became an open wound on her chest. Still, she was so ashamed and afraid she wouldn't look at it. It was the debilitating back pain and our concern that finally got her to the doctor to that awful moment.

Our hearts were broken at that moment. Our mom, the amazingly beautiful, powerful woman that raised us as a single parent, had been suffering for so long and we had no idea.

Now after 6 excruciating days in the hospital, we know Mom has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Amazingly, mom is stronger today as doctors discharge her than any other time in her life. That is because mom is reclaiming Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, her saving grace, her rock, her redeemer, her everything. Mom has always had faith in God, but now it is at the center of her life, carrying her and blessing her with joy and peace during this difficult time in her life.

We can't go back in time, but Mom can use her life from this point forward to be an example of God's amazing love. Mom hopes that by telling her story, she might save someone from the pain she is going through and inspire others to seek God first in all things.

We can feel the power of your prayers lifting us up, wrapping us in the peace only God can provide and filling us with never-ending joy.

Stay tuned to read more about the ways God is working in our lives.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

Love and blessings,

We are so blessed to have mom here with us today.  Every day we are here is a gift from God, and we are celebrating.  Happy one year anniversary, Mom!  We love you so much!

A prayer for today-
Dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you so much for loving me just as I am and forgiving all my mistakes, big and little.  Thank you for making me in your image for your perfect purpose and glory.  Give me the courage to come to you with my biggest weaknesses and mistakes.  Heal me, please Father, in the ways you know best.  I am grateful for the precious time you give me here on this Earth.  I pray that You will help me use it wisely to bless others. 
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray,

May God fill your hearts with His unconditional love,

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