Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Cancer, COVID and Small Celebrations

Each year when flu season comes around, I worry about people spreading germs and about mom coming down with some weird flu strain and how something as simple as the flu could take her down fast. Because it happens - I have known people to die from the [regular] flu.

Enter the COVID 19 Coronavirus. IF there was any good to come out of all of this, it is that people are wearing face masks (mom included) and are taking extra precautions. Mom's immune system has been severely compromised. Since 2009, mom has been through invasive surgery, 5 rounds of a variety of chemo cocktails and terrible (at times almost deadly) side effects. Her body can't fight infections like it used to and she is in a high risk category as we make our way through the pandemic.

Eleven years has passed since mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. At the time (2009), her prognosis was 3 years, tops. When I reflect, there was no doubt in my mind that she would live beyond the 3 years. I knew she was strong enough (and stubborn enough) to get through it. And here we are in 2020.

Valentines Day 2020 at the Cellar in Geneseo
These last 11 years have been a curse, but they have also been a blessing, because once you see someone live through the unthinkable, then you understand the important things... and the rest of it has to fall away.

Cancer doesn't hold the power that it once did - even though it is *technically* still lurking in her body, mom has turned the tables on cancer and silenced the effect that it has had on her life. The focus has not been on the cancer, but on the power of prayer and a positive attitude.

So this is a cause for a small celebration - even though we can't really celebrate together right now. I'm thankful to be at this point in the journey where she has made it through the worst and that her story can give someone else hope that they can beat the odds too.

In the same way, it gives me hope that we will make it through the pandemic. Cancer has given mom a new normal and the COVID 19 is giving us another new normal. Even though our lives are changed, we are still together.

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