This picture is of our amazing family right before a few of the hardest months of our lives. This was in September. We went to visit with my sisters to celebrate Mom kicking cancer’s ass. She was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February. She battled through chemo for six months and we thought everything was over. She would beat cancer and everything would go back to normal. Cancer would actually end up being the easiest part of our year. During the trip to visit my sisters, Mom got sick. What started as stomach cramps sent them home and to the hospital. I’m sure the doctors believed that it was nothing since her immune system was still recovering from chemo. We knew she’d be more susceptible to illness. They sent her back home. The next day, I got a text from Dad. “Your mom had a seizure.” My Dad still can’t tell the story without tearing up. We rushed to the hospital. I’ve never seen her in that kind of pain. She’s strong. She doesn’t cave easily so I wasn’t ready for the following months. They got her pain down and managed to do a few scans. They thought they had it narrowed down as one of her lesions showed signs of infection. They started her on medicine but kept her overnight to monitor her blood pressure (her pain caused a blood pressure spike which caused the seizure). The next few days feel like a blur. Tests among tests. Scans among scans. She’s not getting better. In fact, she’s declining pretty rapidly. A few days later she was moved to the ICU. She woke up to squeeze my hand and whisper, “hey baby” and I lost it. She was out of it for the rest of the visit. She had started to develop a rash on her face. Again, no one knew why. Probably a reaction to all the medicine. After about a week in ICU, the doctors realize she has a strand of Chicken Pox. Because of her weakened immune system, it started by attacking her organs (that’s why she was in so much pain). After that they moved her to isolation. Things were turning around and in a positive direction. I stayed with her as much as I could. She was finally awake and having conversations. She was still in a good bit of pain but the medicine helped. About a week later, we were finally able to take her home. Nope, not out of the woods. Her stomach pain was still a huge factor. She hadn’t eaten or drank for weeks and still didn’t want to because of the pain. She was down to about 110 pounds. She couldn’t keep food down. Back to the doctor. Now it’s the gallbladder. A week later she would go in to have it removed. She’s recovering from surgery but still has a hard time keeping food down. She mentioned to me that she watched a lot of a HGTV’s Island Life as an escape. She wants to be back on a beach so badly. My sisters and I have decided to gift Mom and Dad with a trip. We’re taking care of the hotel and flight (maybe even a cruise) but we would love for them to not have to worry about a single thing. We would love to send them with some play money (sometime in 2018 when she’s recovered...she’s still about 95 pounds and can only stand for a couple minutes at a time). We would appreciate SO MUCH a little help. $1. $5. I don’t care. My parents are my world and I can’t afford to give the world back to them yet (yay student loans). This would help us start.
We can’t thank you enough for reading
Jenna, Stephanie, and Tiffany