Monday, August 31, 2015

A Beautiful Life Interrupted, Devastated and Lost to Metastatic Breast Cancer

In January 2012 my beautiful, vivacious, healthy daughter was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I think telling my husband and I was more difficult for her than receiving the news herself. After she left our house that day I went to my bedroom to spend some time in prayer. Before I’d even uttered a word to the Lord, He spoke to my heart and said, “This is not going to end well for you.” I instantly knew that my daughter was going to die from cancer, yet I was somehow filled with so much peace in that moment. I understood that I’d been given a gift, a revelation, and although I was filled with sadness, anguish, fear, anger, you name it, in that moment I experienced the peace that passes all understanding.
That peace lasted about an hour. I then began allowing all my fears to become bigger and bolder than my faith.  I couldn’t imagine my life without my precious daughter. As daughters go, she was pretty terrific and we had an extraordinary relationship. I adored her. My husband, my grandson and my Kady were the center of my universe.

On February 16, 2012 Kady underwent 10 ½ hours of double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. She was home in less than 24 hours and back at work in two weeks. I called her my superhero.
Fast forward through five rounds of chemo, losing her hair, scans, scans, scans, continuing to work and being the most positive person in any room. We go to the oncologist for her post-chemo check-up and he utters the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard: No evidence of disease. Holy crap! We’re all hugging and crying and Kady and I leave there feeling like we’ve been given a miracle.

Now, from this time forward my timeline of events becomes fuzzy. Partly because I have short and long term memory loss due to a stroke and party because our world was being turned upside down – again – with a new word: Metastasized. To the liver. Holy crap.
I shouldn’t have been taken by surprise. I’d been given advance warning on that first dreaded day, but even with a Word from God Himself, I wasn’t prepared to lose my child. Life became very complicated and difficult after those four syllables. Not only were we dealing with our oldest daughter having Stage IV, incurable cancer, we were raising our grandson because our other daughter has been battling drug addiction since she was 18, and now we find out she’s pregnant again. I prayed every day for the rapture.

On April 15, 2014, our sweet Kady went home from Moffitt Cancer Center under Hospice care. For the first time in my life I began journaling and found it to be exhausting and cathartic. I’ll be sharing my raw, intimate entries with the hope that another grieving parent might feel less alone in this horrible journey.


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