Mary is a wife, mother of two (Jason who died after birth), grandmother to our six month old son Jackson, aunt and teacher to her students. Mary is an amazing woman who cares very deeply about her family (sometimes too much lol). She has been my mother for 31 years and has always been there for me and always willing to help and offer advice wether I want it or not. She will give you the shirt off her back to help you out because all she wants to do is be involved in your life - Good thing she does not live next door. Mom, if you are reading this, I am just kidding! She has helped shape me into the man I am today and I hope I can accomplish a fraction of that for my own son. She taught me so many life lessons without me even knowing it sometimes. She used to always tell me "wait because one day you will see" or "wait until you have kids" and sometimes its scary how right she was. As I grew into an adult, there would be days that those memories from 15 years ago would pop into my head - scary because no one wants to admit you are just like your mom or dad. I can go on and on about how great she is and how caring she is but if you know her, you already know this. If you dont know her, she is a great woman with a great heart and great intentions.
HER FIRST FIGHT WITH BREAST CANCER
I remember the day when she broke the news that she had breast cancer and would require a mastectomy. It was hard to believe she had cancer. The woman who was so strong and seemed invinvicible could have this. Even though it was tough, we put on a very positive front. Even her own sisters were jilted by the news that they decided to get checked out themselves. Turns out one of her sisters found a lump as well. The family almost lost her as she had to fight for her life due to post cancer complictions but she is still with us because she is a fighter just like Mary.
Sugery happened, the cancer was more than anticipated into the lymph nodes but we got the all clear from the doctor that we had gotten clear margins.
Next up was Chemo. No one ever really prepares you for that. Some people have no side effects and breeze through it. Then there is my mom who if she didn't have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. A coulple hospitaizations and battles with C-Diff, vomitting and constantly being physically drained took its toll on her but also my dad. No one tells you how your father will have to be "hazel" then maid as he says. Cooking, cleaning, driving, laudry, bills, numerous insurance battles becuase billing departments can't seem to get it right, and the house upkeep. The strain it put on my father was very noticeable. What no one tells you and what insurance does not cover is the gas going back and forth to Boston. The constant hotel stays since doctors never seem to be able to line up appointments on the same day, the cost of food which is mostly dinning out because you are out of town and on the road. With most insurance plans in a state of flux, out of pocket expenses are higher than ever, deductibles are higher than ever, the rates are alsmost unaffordable. Sometimes it seems esasier to just give up and bury your head in the sand but my parents are fighters even though the bills and expenses kept adding up. Not once did they ask for help.
The subsequent visits to the doctor were all positive. She had beaten cancer. Just before her one year annual check up, my wife and I suprised the family with some news. She broke into tears with joy with the news of her grandson Philbert's impending birth (our fake name as Jackson's name was a secret). Mary knew she had even more reason to be alive and be thankfull for her years ahead of her. The future was so bright.
THE SECOND FIGHT WITH CANCER
As I write this (2 years post first fight), the day after the news was given to us, still numb from trying to comprehend what this means, the breast cancer has returned to the same spot as before. The surgeon is positive and idicates it is operable. The required bone scan was negative which was great but then the bomb was dropped about the results of the CT scan showing lesions on the Liver. Mary is scheduled to have the liver biopsy next week to confirm the results and the family is saying their prayers that maybe it is something else and not the cancer spreading.
Plans of attack are up in the air right now, numerous trips back and forth to Boston, countless hours on the road, in hotels surrounded by unfamiliar people and places, take out, chemo, radiation, and surgery are all in the future for my mother. This time though is different than the last. We have been through this before and will get through this as a family again but this time it is different. In the back of our minds, we fear the worst but will be as positive as we can because cancer can be beaten and I know my mom did not raise a quitter so I dont expect her to quit. She has too much to live for and I want to see her expirience my Son's life.
The financial toll from the first battle with cancer has not been forgotten. Bills, credit cards, hotel points exhausted, still linger and now the impending second round coming up is very intimidating. For the first time, my parents asked for help as they don't think financially they will be able to make it through this time.
So if you have read this far ( I know it is long and I had to express some feelings and it poured out), I thank you. My Family, and if you know me or my family, they treat you like one of their own and would do anything for you if you needed them or asked them to. We dont like to ask for any charity - probably due to pride, but I am asking you to help my family through this difficult time so we can extend Mary's life as far as possible. I want my son, Jackson to know his grandmother. Both my grandfathers passed - one before I was born, and the other when I was young so I never was able to have that relationship with my grandparents and I am jealous of those who did.
From the bottom of my heart, aything you can do to help our family would be greatly appreciated and we would forever be in your debt! Just know your donations are going towards saving the life of someone you know!
- Mike Grimaldi
- Russ Peterson
- Dino Rachiele
- Family McGuire
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