A Different Story

I’ve been thinking about my Mom a lot.

She was a beautiful woman with a big beaming smile.  She was an optimist and a devout Catholic.  She was a creative and involved mother.  We were incredibly lucky in our parents: hard-working Dutch immigrants who parented us well….with discipline and lots of love.

For a few years, before she was sick, she kept a journal:

January 4, Monday, 1965

Seems so nice to have a completely empty book to write in.  I wonder what this year will bring us, fulfillment of our plans, more happiness in our family?  Maybe I should say continued happiness for we have a fine, happy family.

Our mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 36.  At that time her four children were aged 9-15.

Diagnostics weren’t as developed in those days so her cancer would have already been invasive.  Her lymph system was already involved.   Her treatment was grueling.  They didn’t have the anti-nausea drugs so she felt ill most days when she was receiving chemotherapy.  Her immune system was completely overwhelmed and she was sometimes disappointed to be turned back from treatment because her white cell count was so low.  She was a resilient woman and she fought hard.  But eventually she had cancer in her lungs and in her liver.  She died at age 39.

I feel so sad for what she had to go through.

I feel fortunate to know that my story will be different.  Medicine has come such a long way and I have no doubts about the success of my treatment.  None.  I am lucky.

By coincidence my surgery date of June 8th is the same week of the anniversary of her death, June 10, 1973.   I’ll be imagining her at my side.

11 Replies to “A Different Story”

  1. Maggie: We can sure see where your lovely smile comes from. We will be with you in spirit tomorrow. And no doubt your mother will be watching over you too. Love, Connie & Bonnie

  2. Wow, I was almost five the day of that picture.
    Carefree and wide eyed I am sure.

    Your moms spirit by your side with my shut eyes brings me to feel comfort too Maggie.
    Goodness from those healing hands cousin.
    Love you

  3. I haven’t seen that picture of Tante Dini, Maggie. She was lovely. I have a clear memory of the night she brought me the pauncho she knit for me, and still have it. Janna wore it for a time.

    I’ll call my mom. I do believe she has a strong link to whatever God is and will help to get the job done. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Love you, Marissa

    1. Yes, our mothers and fathers have a mainline connection to God. Jeff’s mom sent me a Novena of Masses and it brought tears to my eyes. I’m happy to get all the help I can!

  4. Dear Margaret, you will be all well again soon. You are encircled with love and prayers. Go with courage and faith…we love you! Roger + Rachel

  5. Okay, that just made me cry my face off.
    Thinking of you today.

    Can’t wait to see you and give you a big hug.

    And after reading this post, I am extra excited to see my mom on the 21st!

  6. In a way, your mom and so many others, helped to test treatments that eventually led to yours. I thank the powers that be, that your experience will be much safer and more effective and comfortable than hers was. Blessings upon you both.

  7. Hello Maggie –
    I am sorry to hear of your news. I am sure you are holding strong. So many thoughts and prayers are being sent your way.
    You are always in my heart!
    Blessed Be!
    Stef

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