My mom. Where to start. *Trying not to cry* The day we found out about the cancer my mom was still at work, not able to answer her cell. When we finally were able to talk, around 5pm Oregon time, she was the only one I wanted to talk to. I had told and re-told our story a bazillion times. I was drained emotionally and physically. I had cried until there were no more tears to cry. And the sound of my mom's voice on the other end of the phone was just what I needed to hear. So soothing. Comforting. I don't even remember exactly what she said, but know it was exactly what I needed to hear. We were both very positive, and she reassured me that all would be well and we would get through this. An hour later there was a message on our answering machine from her. I pushed play and could hear my mom, through tears, tell me again how much she loved me and would help with whatever we needed. You see, she was supposed to leave for Hawaii only 4 days after the biopsy. She had been planning this trip with my cousin for months. She would have been gone a week, coming back the 25th, the same day of my dad's scheduled surgery (he needed a cyst removed.) Instead of going on this exotic vacation, and then coming back home to help my dad recover from his surgery, she unpacked the snorkel and flippers and repacked for her stay in Utah. She drove the 12-hour drive, all alone, on Father's Day, leaving my dad to fend for himself. She has given up so much to be here, and I tell her over and over how much I love and appreciate her and all these sacrifices she has made for me and my family, but she doesn't see it that way. When a child needs their mom, of course mom comes running, and she couldn't picture being anywhere else. When I asked how long she planned to stay, her response was "As long as you need me." She has been invaluable, taking the kids for days at a time. She has spent the night here at the hospital when I have asked her to, even though she was exhausted and uncomfortable. She never complains about being tired. She doesn't remind me that she could be looking at tropical fish in Hanauma Bay right now, instead of giving her daughter sponge baths and being woken up every hour by nurses. There is going to be a Yard Sale Fundraiser for our family on July 10th, and all the proceeds will be donated to help cover our medical expenses (thanks Kim and the rest of my girls for putting that together!) and my mom has spent hours going through old clothes, baby stuff, etc. to sell in the yard sale. She has taken my kids swimming multiple times, driven down to Provo to pick up my sister Whitney, so she could come visit for an hour or two, fed my kids breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she is here in my hospital room, she is right by my side, ready to do whatever is needed. She's constantly reminding me to drink more, do my breathing exercises, etc. She is a good listener and lets me pour out my thoughts and feelings, and truly, genuinely cares about what I'm saying. She enjoys watching a good movie with me, and we laugh until tears are coming down our cheeks. My mom is so thoughtful. We had a moment yesterday morning when the PA was hinting that it was very likely I wouldn't get home until Saturday afternoon. When I heard the news my heart sank. I signed up for the NSL 5K months ago, it's already paid for. I started a training program with some of my friends to get them ready for it, and we have been working on it for 2 1/2 months. This race means a lot to me and I really wanted to be there, if only just to sit on the sidelines and cheer my girls on when they crossed the finish line. Well, my friends would have none of that and said even if I can't walk the race, they would find a wheelchair and push me the 3.1 miles. I was taken aback by their love and concern for me. They even talked about getting matching hats they want to stencil the silver lung cancer sign on so we can be "Team Jamie." Well, when I heard I might still be in the hospital Saturday, my mom's immediate response was "I will take your place and run the race for you." I cried. Like a baby. My mom would do anything for me. I know that. And this meant so much to me, that she would jump in there without a moment's hesitation, and run my race. She's not a runner (or so she will tell you.) She's struggled with asthma most of her life, but after her and my dad came back from Malaysia it had went away, so she started walking/jogging a few times a week. A few months ago my mom announced she would join a training group at the high school she works at, and then eventually run the Helvetia Half Marathon on June 12th. When I heard this news in April I said "Mom, I'm coming out there and we will do it together!" Well, obviously that didn't happen, but my mom continued to work hard and get ready for her race... and she did it. She ran her first half marathon. She even got under 3 hours, which was her goal. I was so proud of her. Still am. And the fact that she would take my place in a heartbeat meant so much to me.
Mom, you are my best friend and I couldn't imagine going through this without you. I know you feel like you're not doing much when people say you are... but you really are. We would be falling apart without you. (And to dad, thanks for letting me borrow her for awhile, even though I know this past week has been hard on you, not having her there to take care of you.)
I'm a strong-willed woman, wife, mom of three, LDS, U of U grad, runner, gymnastics fanatic, card maker, piano player, slightly OCD, singer, chocolate lover, office manager, cancer survivor, and friend. I started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends, and it slowly turned into my own personal therapeutic outlet. Nothing better than typing out your thoughts, trying to make sense of life.