My mom has always been my rock. She raised my four brothers and sisters on her own and in a time when divorce was about as rare as having Cancer. Raising the five us wasn’t easy, yet during the most challenging and difficult times we never witnessed her being weak. Of course she had them, but we never saw it. For us, our Mom was and still to this day is like Superwoman; capable of doing and overcoming anything.
Our strength is never known until it’s truly tested.
August 2014 – I can remember the moment that we heard the news. It was as if the Doctor was speaking in slow motion. “Your mother has Stage 3 Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer.”
Now my first reaction was one of disbelief. Not my Mom, not the strongest (mentally and physically) woman I have ever met. Nope, not possible. I felt like I was in the middle of a really bad dream. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that this nightmare was our reality.
All my life, my mom has sacrificed for us. She’s protected us. She advised us and has always been there for us. ALWAYS. It was in that moment; standing in the doctor’s office, I knew this was my time to sacrifice, protect, and advise for my mom the way she did for us.
After the news settled I soon realized that I had absolutely no control over this disease that would change our lives forever. But what I could control was how I reacted to the disease.
Breathe. Think. Plan. Execute.
I’m not one to ask for help, in fact, it is one of my biggest weaknesses. But, in this moment, I broke my own mold and didn’t think twice. I called in all the favors I had, used every possible connection I could think of, and even borrowed a few incredible people to help me create a plan.
Plans provide stability; and in a situation with little to none, these people, these ideas, these answers, provided a calm to not only myself, but more importantly, my Mom.
The next 12 months was quite the journey. After numerous procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation, we beat the Cancer, or as they say, Mom was in ‘remission’. She overcame one of the biggest hurdles in her life.
Flash forward to today, one year later. We went back to get our “routine” scans only to discover that another battle lay ahead of us. Not what we wanted to hear, but we will never just lie down and give up. We will fight back. The thing about fighting it is that you never stop. You can’t stop. There isn’t a road map for how to overcome adversity and how to beat this horrible disease. But what we do have is hope, strength, faith, and support, that no matter where this journey takes us we’re in it together.
Life is by the moment; don’t miss it while you are making plans… enjoy every breath….
This week’s blog written by our #Rockstar, Heidi Shepherd