By Danee Kiernan Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #19
I’m in the shower and I can feel the water streaming over my head and soon, the tears are running down my cheeks as well. I cover my face with my hands. I start sobbing and I can’t stop. This happens often and without warning. I’m sad and so tired.
It was a summer day last year when my Mom and I sat side by side in a small doctor’s office. Mom had been experiencing some pain in her chest while sleeping and her doctor ran some tests and asked that she come in for the results. It took all of 20 seconds to hear the news. My Mom had lung cancer…..A large inoperable tumor in her lung.
The young, healthy, intelligent doctor spoke softly. He said he was sorry and asked if we had any questions (was he serious?????). Then he gave us the name of a local oncologist.
The next six months are a blur of daily chemo & radiation treatments, needles, side effects, medicines, blood counts, wheelchairs, hair loss, weight loss, tears, sleepless nights, exhausting days, receptionists, radiologists, nurses, surgeons, volunteers, home health nurses, hospice and hundreds of other cancer patients who were on the same journey.
Initially, Mom was completely in shock. She no longer even remotely resembled our rock and matriarch. In a split second she evolved into a lost, scared woman facing her own mortality. Mom was in denial and angry and pretty sure that this was all a mistake. At first, she spent much of her time trying to figure out how the cancer got into her body. She would explain to me and others (sometimes multiple times a day) that the cancer probably started because of some new carpeting installed in her apartment or from the dampness on the walls after she showered or because of a piece of asbestos that she had wrapped around her father’s muffler once when she was 14.
Our entire family was in shock too. My brother and I talked daily about Mom and what was ahead. We arranged our schedules around Mom’s needs. Like it so often can and does…..Life changed drastically in an instant. I was angry…..And sad….And frustrated too….But mostly, I was scared.
As I sobbed in the shower, I told my Mom how much I missed her and how much I loved her.
I let my tears flow. I sobbed deep sobs. I let myself feel the pain and sadness through my soul. I assured myself that I should feel sad. I lost my Mom. I miss my Mom. It’s OK to cry. It’s mandatory to cry. I have to cry to get through this. My feelings need to be heard. They have a voice and something to say. I owe it to my Mom, my family and to myself to listen.
I turned off the water and thought about how crazy life is. Disgustingly crazy. It’s crazy that time marches on… even when we just can’t….It’s crazy that death is inevitable, and yet we all struggle with the finality of it……And it’s crazy that in the end, we all have to say goodbye.
Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org