Monday, July 2, 2012

My mum is a tough cookie.

Today's post is going to be a little different from my usual ones, but hey, we all know life isn't always rainbows and cuteness right? About a year ago my mum got diagnosed with breast cancer and I would like to share my story on that. The main reason I'm writing this is because it might help others, just like it helped me to read about other girl's experiences who have gone through something similar. I am not looking for a pity party.

I remember the afternoon my mum called very well. I had just started my first year at art school. My class was just finished when she called. That day she had been to the doctor because she kept feeling an annoying, tingly kind of pain in her chest. She said it was probably nothing, but that she still wanted to get it checked. I had a bad feeling about it nonetheless and unfortunately my feelings were right. That afternoon my  mum called to tell me she had breast cancer.
This obviously was an enormous shock. I think the first few days it didn't really got through to me. This was probably because I was so far away from her, and because you only hear about things like this about other people. Other mothers. Not my mother.

She was very lucky to have discovered it at an early stage. At first no drastic measurements were necessary. She went through radiation and other things I don't even remember anymore. I didn't ask much about it either. Whatever they did was fine as long as she would get better. Eventually the doctors concluded she wouldn't need chemo therapy and it looked like everything would be alright and back to normal again soon. Once she had gone through everything though, a surgeon was starting to feel uncertain. He had noticed some cells that weren't supposed to be there and he wanted to do more tests just to be certain.
On January 24 (my birthday) they called with the news that it would be best if my mum would have chemo therapy after all, for preventive reasons. I think this hit me a lot harder then when my mum told me she had breast cancer. Chemo for breast cancer is one of the heaviest ones there is. The party that day was initially also to celebrate the fact that my mother was done with everything, but little did we know the hardest part was only just about to start.

I think the fact that I live 4 to 5 hours away from home kind of helped me to cope with it all. At first you might think that when something like this happens all you want is to be home and be there, but to be honest I didn't feel like that at all. I knew she was taken care off, but also that she was going to have to go through this 'alone'. For a while I was uncertain about continuing my studies, but I knew that the best way I could help my mum was by staying there and do my very best.
This doesn't mean I never went home. I tried to be there every weekend and also sent postcards and little gifts. I was there when she started to loose her hair and we went to the wig shop together and tried all kinds of funky new hair styles. Of course it's a very tough process, but my mum's positive spirit and knowing that she was going to be better again after all this made it all a lot more bearable.

My mum is a tough cookie, but sometimes a little too tough. She was working very hard, every single day. In a way I feel like the cancer was a way of getting my mum to take a step back and look at what she was doing. I'm NOT saying breast cancer was the ideal way of getting her to do that or anything along those lines, but in the end quite some good things have come out of it and it makes me very happy and proud that my mother can deal with things like this in such a while. That no matter how bad things get, she'll always be positive, caring and the best mum ever in general.
Now she won't have to work as much anymore and gets to have more time for herself. Right now she's walking in Romania, visiting churches and monasteries! I'm not gonna lie, I'm still terrified it might come back some day. Everything being over now isn't a guarantee it won't happen again, but I'm trying not to think about that too much. For now I'm just extremely happy and grateful for the fact she is still here. <3


  1. I'm really sorry but at the same time really happy that's she's better. We never imagine sth. like that could happen, but it does, actually talking about it makes me sad although it is the reality. Anyways, i give you both my best wishes and the best luck! :D


  2. Your mom sounds like a trooper. I hope everything works out for you guys.