Today my mom turns 50. While that us a big accomplishment for many people, it is simply shocking that she reached this milestone. You see, we have been told twice by doctors that she would only have a slim chance of survival. She was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in 1995. It was wide spread through her body. The doctors told us she had a 50/50 shot of overcoming this. She did overcome it through much pain and several chemo treatments. Everything went along merrily for some time. So merrily, that I sometimes forgot about those dark days. However, in the fall of 2005 and into 2006, it was apparent the cancer had returned. This time, the cancer would try to take everything from us. My mom underwent two surgeries this time instead of one. She was in the hospital more than she was home for a few months. She was sick…and I could do nothing. Add to the fact that I was an hour away, I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I still remember the my OB and I talking at length about scheduling him to come a little early so that my mom could visit him in the hospital before her next surgery. In the end, we decided not to induce and wait. When I went into labor, my mom was at a different hospital. On the day I was released, she was released as well. Because it was a sterile environment, she was able to come and hold my son, if only for a couple minutes. The next few months were scary because I had to face the unknown. I was humbled that my father would allow me to sit with him while he waited for the doctor and would allow me to listen and ask questions when needed. I was awed by my sister and her sense of peace the entire time. I was encouraged by my husband and friends when they would pray the prayers I just simply couldn’t. Then slowly, she started to come around. What day this change started I don’t know. It is evident to me that she has had cancer. I see the age in her eyes. I see how her body has been compromised. However, I still see her. I am amazed at God’s mercy and grace. Mom and I may still have rough patches and rub each other the wrong way sometimes but I am grateful she is in my life, in my boy’s life too.
In honor of her birthday, we threw her a surprise party. It was wonderful and she was completely shocked at it. I had the opportunity to make her cake. I made a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing – her favorite. I also topped it with sterling silver roses. Purple is her favorite color. And when she showed up would you believe she had on her purple cancer survivor shirt! Happy Birthday mom, the guys and I love you.
In case you are interested, here is the cake I made