When I was in my twenties, my mom’s friend who had been married for 12 years was finally blessed with a baby girl. My mom was overjoyed for her friend and I remember how happy the parents to be were. When her little girl was two years old, the mom started having pain in her teeth. She went to the dentist but the pain kept getting worse, eventually she was in excruciating pain. Finally she got the diagnosis from her doctor that we all dread, cancer. Here she was with this beautiful little girl, and she wouldn’t get to see her baby girl grow up. We took food to her house once; it was so heartbreaking to see her so miserably ill that she couldn’t enjoy being with her precious little one.
I was married 12 years when I also was finally blessed with a successful pregnancy. I had experienced 3 miscarriages before this and was so fearful that something bad would happen. I had my beautiful daughter and all was well with her. When my daughter was 2 years old, I was having severe abdominal pain. I pleaded with my doctor for help with the pain but he said the only thing he would do was a hysterectomy. I really hoped that my daughter would have a sibling, but after a year of this pain, I couldn’t stand it any longer and agreed to have the surgery.
I had my post-surgery checkup a week later where the doctor told me that the pathology lab found advanced endometrial cancer, stage 2B, meaning it has spread. The thoughts of my mom’s friend came rushing to mind. Would I get to see my beautiful daughter grow up, to shape her and help her grow into a mature woman serving the God I have come to know and love so deeply. Would she hate me for leaving her? How can I make her know my love for her if I’m gone? I don’t talk much about this because even though it’s been 13 years, it’s still scary to hear the word cancer, even if it’s me saying it in a past tense. Every ache or pain you have you wonder, is it back? It never completely leaves your mind again. It robs people of not just their own lives, but of the missed lifetime of memories with their loved ones.
My mom’s friend’s daughter is all grown up with 3 babes of her own, but I know for a fact that she still misses her mama, not like you or I would, who have known their mom, but there is a huge void left when the most important person in your life never gets the opportunity to fill you up with their love and goodness. Whose gonna tie your shoe with patience, a smile and a kiss for the 8th time in one day? The photo I shared of my daughter was taken by my mom while I was gone having a radiation treatment. It was so hard to leave that precious little angel because I wanted to seize every second with her.
Cancer is ugly, it’s unfair, and evil, however, it is also sometimes preventable and curable. The odds are that it will in some way touch your life, either by experience or association. If it does, there is help. The Relay for Life Team raises money to help people directly in your local area. The money you donate or raise for your team will stay in your local area. You will be helping moms and others with cancer in your hometown.
I am unable to have a booth this year, but still wanted to help out, and this is my donation, sharing my story, and asking you ladies to help any way you can. I am asking you, Reedley Moms, if you would please spend a few of your shopping dollars at the Relay Craft Boutique, or if you are a business owner, please donate something to their raffle or rent a table to advertise your business. I know some of you are amazingly crafty and gifted and even services can be donated. Please, in the Reedley Mom’s spirit, please find a way that you can help. You can contact Brandy McNelly 559-638-2223 or Darla Plano at 559-305-8502.