Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Mom...A Beauty in Ugly Days

It's up to you to find beauty in the ugliest days.

Well hello there. It's been quite awhile...again! The last few months have been rather uncertain and unruly; hence, why I have not been blogging about too much. 

I came back to Edmonton mid-August to shoot a wedding and do some visiting with family and friends. My mom was up in the Yukon on her annual canoe trip with her husband and I was going to be seeing her when she got back around the 31st. 
Long story short, she had a pulmonary embolism when she was there. She survived thank goodness but when they did a CT scan they found spots on her lungs. She got to go home with blood thinners and oxygen after being in hospital for a week. We then had to wait another SIX WEEKS to get a bronchoscopy to find out whether the spots were malignant or benign. A week later we learned that she indeed had lung cancer. She saw an Oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute soon after where they told her that the cancer was in Stage 4 and incurable.

She has now had a week of radiation on her neck as the cancer had travelled there and it was hard for her to turn her head to the right. We saw the doc again this past Wednesday and the cancer, as he put it, is 'spreading like wildfire'. 

There have been many phases of emotions the last few months: shock, anger, sadness, optimism, denial, hope. Throughout it all, the rock has been who else but, my Mom. Many of you who know her will not be surprised by this. She has taken this all with so much grace. I passed a semi-truck on the highway on my way to see her in the hospital (after first learning of her pulmonary embolism) that had the word  'Grace' written on the side and back of it. It made me think of her Mom (Grandma) my Aunt Grace and the many other relatives who fell ill before her but managed to still be so jovial, strong and even tranquil despite feeling so awful physically. Whether inherited or emulated, my Mom is no exception to these admired family traits.

 I have temporarily moved to Sherwood Park, Alberta. It is close to both Camrose (where Mom lives) and the Cross Cancer Institute (where she has her appointments). She stayed with me the past week and we had a lovely time...she was her usual goofball self, despite having just had 5 hits of radiation in a row! She is my best friend, closest confidante, inspiration, partner in crime and sister I never had. She doesn't have a tonne of energy but is in great spirits and that twinkle in her eye has never been brighter. She is in fact, a beauty in ugly days.

I have been reading a lot lately about angels and prayer and positive thinking. It's been proven time and time again that all the aforementioned have helped to heal especially when done in great numbers. I know one must be realistic but I also believe in miracles. So I was just wondering if you could include her in your prayers, your meditation and/or your thoughts:) 


Bybrendat said...

Tracey, that was the most beautiful thing...just like your mom. I am most certainly praying for her and for all of you. I am coming to Camrose in December. I hope to get the chance to meet you and, most of all, see your mom's wonderful smile. Just so glad to have this chance to see a glimpse into your heart and see that it is filled with as much love for her as she obviously has for you. Praying without cease.--Brenda

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Tracey.

Amazing to think that when we had coffee just a short time ago, none of this had happened. Show how much our lives can change.

You are a good daughter and a good person. But we knew that already.

You'll be in my thoughts.


Karen Williamson said...

So sad to hear that Tracey. You know, I am a hospice nurse and I see time and time again that faith and hope are as important as chemo, or drugs or any other intervention. Staying focused on the positive gives the soul the strength to deal with each day, one at a time. Lots of aroha coming at ya from New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

Tracey, So glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am absolutely "positively" convinced that surrounding yourself and your Mom with positive minded people makes all the difference in the world. Peace n Love - Cathy
Oh and that semi was a clear sign the Aunty Grace is one day going to be there to greet your Mom with open arms-Cathy

Adrienne said...

Dear Tracey, It feels like forever ago when we met on the Bangkok sky train. It was the start of a grand adventure for you and you've had so many more since. I'm so glad that you're able to spend time with your mom. Our hearts are with you both. Love, Adrienne (& Charles).
PS - Check out Dr. Rachel Remen's books My
Grandfather's Blessing & Kitchen Table Wisdom. They are short vignettes easy to read. I find them inspirationnal & they help me keep the faith. She saw a few medical miracles in her day.

Vanessa Gooch said...

Tracey, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. How are you both doing? I have been praying for both you and your Mom. I am also glad that you have this time to spend with her and cherish. After losing my Dad, suddenly, it has made me appreciate the moments that I do have with my loved ones. You are in my thoughts and prayers!