Archive | February 2012

Is My Living In Vain?

Even laying in a hospital bed, Moms spirit is still high. Her voice is a lil hoarse but her laughter and smile are the same.

I was greeted with Moms “Hey, Baby Girl” as I entered her hospital room at Henry County. She reached out her hand, I grabbed it and began stroking it slowly. “Hey, Mommy.” She looked at me and smiled. Giving Mom a once look over while the nurse was giving her an IV, I noticed Mom had her nails and eye lashes done. I looked at her and said “Mom, when did all this happen?” My sister, then told me that Cindy, Moms eye lash lady and her husband, Moms nail tech came to the hospital and gave Mom the royal treatment. I thought to myself, Mom is truly special. Not just to her family and friends but to people she passes along the way. I don’t know any nail person that would go out their way and leave their business to tend to one of their customers. That says something about Moms character.

She’s not just our Mother. She’s a sister, grand mother, a great-grandmother, niece, auntie and cousin. Mom is an ordained minister and mentor. She is also a friend to many people in many different circles. Mom and I would laugh about the lady that knew her by name at the shoe store she loved to shop in, or how when I would go to the Dr and people would say “Oh, You’re Martha Alexander’s daughter. We love your Mom.” You would think Mom was famous and I love the attention that I would get because of her!

It touches her heart when people come and visit and makes her feel like she’s not alone in this fight. All of this reminds me to treat people right along the way. You never know who will be there for you when you need them the most. Never let your living be in vain.

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2012. 1 Comment

Friends

“True friends are those who care without hesitation, remember without limitation, forgive without any explanation and love with even little communication. Love, value, and cherish true friends.” ~RJ Hodges~

I would like to take the time out to thank all of the people who have reached out to my family in the past couple of months. Everyone knows how much I love and adore my Mother. The support my family and I have received is nothing short of amazing.

Mom used to tell me when I was little “If you’re lucky, you’ve have one friend in your life.” Well, I’m way beyond “lucky”, I am “blessed”. I have more than one friend. I have an extended family. I won’t sit here and call out names because they know who they are. What I will do, is say “Thank You”.

The calls, texts, emails and check-ins mean a lot. Thank you for not getting upset when calls are not returned or when quality friend time has become a thing of the past. All of the prayers and encouraging words don’t fall on death’s ears. Some of you have never met my Mom but you always ask about and pray for her. If she only knew how much love she is surrounded by she would be a weeping willow all day long.

Mom has touched so many lives. She’s does for others without thinking much of it or wanting anything in return. She loves without conditions and prays without ceasing. Mom is the true definition of a phenomenal woman. Her light shines in all of her children and grandchildren. It is that light that draws you into our family. It is that same light that compels you to show concern and pray for us.

We are forever grateful. Thank you.

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~Merical, Carol, Calvin, Latrese, and Vernon~

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~ Carrie and Mom~

Love

Since its Valentine’s Day and in the spirit of love, I reflect on the love of my mother.

Proverbs 31:26-31

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

There is nothing greater than the love of a mother. Even in Mom’s weakest moments she still finds the strength to say “I love you.” Moms love is unconditional and unwavering. I love her for loving and showing me how to love in return without conditions or limitations.

God blessed us with Mom and we are forever grateful for her. Love your loved ones everyday, not just on holidays.

Cherish

It is God’s order for things to happen the way that they do. So, when we are faced with life changing situations it is important for us to make sure that every moment is “Cherished”. A year ago Mom donated blood at the church and set off a chain of reactions that have lead us to where we are today.

After leaving church Mom felt dizzy and disoriented, she even got turned around trying to get home. Mom never mentioned this to us until about two weeks later when she began to feel the same way again. My niece Carrie called the paramedics and they came and checked Mom out and suggested we take her to the Dr. We did and the Dr said that Mom had a sinus and respiratory infection. She also gave mom a referral to get a MRI scan. Two weeks later, Mom went and got the MRI and the results came back and the Dr said that Mom had a “mini stroke” and proceeded to treat her for it.

In late April, Mom was at work and experienced dizziness and numbness in her leg. She also started to have tremors (uncontrollable jerking movement). She was then rushed to the hospital. There with more tests and scans, the image that the Dr saw previously where the stroke damaged was done had grown. Strokes don’t grow, which lead us to there being a “mass” in/on her brain.

Mom and I attended church for Mother’s Day service in May 2011.

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In June, Mom had a biopsy and the results came back that Mom had a Brain Tumor called “Giloblastoma” which is a Milgnant Tumor. July 2011 Mom started a six week chemotherapy and radiation treatment to “shrink” the tumor. The treatment didn’t provide the results that we were expecting. So, after a brief break Dr. Simpson (Moms oncologist) started her on another treatment called Avastin.

Between then and now Mom has been in an out of the hospital with different complications associated with the tumor. Mom no longer receives the Avastin treatment because she’s having blood clots in her leg. Needless to say this has been an emotional roller coaster for all those involved.

As I sit here today in the hospital room across from my Mom I can’t help but reflect on how good God is. He gave me a WONDERFUL mother and every moment I have with her is cherished. A year ago, I would have never thought that I would be here. Mom says if she saw this coming she would have “Ran like hell in the opposite direction and still be running.” Either way, it is a blessing to be here beside her as she has been beside me.

People laugh at me because I always have my camera on “Ready”. What they don’t know is that my Dad liked to take pictures and when he passed in 2005 it was something that kept me connected to him. When my Grandmother passed in 2007, Carrie and I compiled all her pictures and created a movie of her life. Through those pictures we were able to see our family. We were able to connect with our past and embrace our future. Even now as I capture what some may think are “private family moments” in regards to my Mom these photos are apart of my life and have shaped who I am. “Pictures are Moments Captured to last a lifetime.” I can look back and be reminded of the love, the laughter and tears that God has given me and be grateful for them.

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Tomorrow is not promised, please make sure that you cherish today.

Make sure that the ones you love know that you love them.

Give it to God

I was recently told “Give it to God”. The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that Mom’s condition can’t be controlled. It hurts more than words when we can’t help her. Mom doesn’t complain much, she always says “I’m ok.” We know that she’s not but she puts on a brave face for us.

“Give it to God” means that we trust God’s will and way. He is merciful and whatever is destined to be is better than anything we can imagine right now. I don’t know about my siblings but that is something that I struggle with. I want and need answers. I want to understand what’s going on and why. I feel like I can have peace if I have answers. What I have to learn is, I can have peace without answers if I just “Give it to God.”

I don’t want my Mom to suffer or to be in any discomfort for my selfishness. God knows my heart and He also knows what’s best and starting today even though my Mom gave herself to God a long time ago… I give her to Him as my Mother, my strength, and my best friend to have full control over what happens next. I trust that He will give me comfort and peace while He does His work.

This entry was posted on February 10, 2012. 2 Comments

Avastin Treatment

Avastin is one form of treatment for brain cancer. The powerful drug shrinks tumors by choking off their blood supply. Mom received infusions of Avastin every two weeks. Then underwent monthly brain scans by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to monitor change. Cancer cells secrete a growth factor called VEGF that spurs the growth of new blood vessels to supply the tumor with oxygen and nutrients. Avastin blocks VEGF, essentially starving the tumor to death.

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“Mom getting juiced up!”

Selfish

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Mom has always been independent, in fact she raised all her children to be that way. It’s no wonder it’s hard for her to rely on her children for support. She never wanted to be in a position where she couldn’t do certain things for herself. The hardest thing for us, is to see Mom struggle. With Mom’s condition we all want her to be the “exception” and not the rule because we have God on our side. We serve a mighty God and He is bigger than any tumor. He is greater than any Doctor’s prognosis.

The human side of this is, Mom is starting to get discouraged. She’s hurting and doing everything that she is asked to do, so my question is “Why, is she hurting so much?” Mom is one of THE strongest women I know and when she breaks down it breaks the people around her. I try to not question God but this is a bit much for anyone to bare. I have to constantly remind myself that God is still in control. He knows what He is doing. I have to believe that He is preparing us.

“Hold on, don’t let go! Keep the faith, God WILL make a way!”