Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just Tryin' to Survive

I figure my FM wouldn't mind at this point whether or not I say who they are, so I'll say it: My mother has leukemia. My mom. The woman I look up to most in my life.

We managed to survive Christmas. My family did Christmas Eve in the hospital. My mother got pnemonia this weekend and it was terrifying. She can't breathe very well, even now, but at least she is out of ICU. And she was well enough to watch us all open presents on Christmas Eve. Its our tradition to do presents in my family on Christmas Eve. Every year we eat homemade lasagna (the sauce is even homemade!), eat spritz cookies and three-layer party squares, then open presents by the tree while sipping on homemade wassail. Yeah sure, we were missing the lasagna and wassail, but it actually was a really good Christmas. My dad got a Santa suit and spread cheer all around the hospital. I was spoiled rotten and my brother, my dad and I managed to fully entertain my mom on Christmas Eve.

I've been dying to get to the point where I can say it is my mom that's sick (against her request, but its imporant for me to say this...). My mom has been truly inspirational. I am so amazed by her attitude through all of this! Even when she's struggling for the breath to talk, she's using that breath to make a joke. She's
amazing, that mom of mine. And selfishly this sickness has been really good for me because I've had my mom all to myself almost every day. Whether its 5 minutes or 4 hours (depending on how she's feeling) I feel like every second is a gift. My mom is such a good friend and since I've been old enough to know she's my friend I haven't had enough time to be with just her. I'm so blessed to have had this time to hang out with her.

I've been a little stressed between this and some other stuff that's going on (Ryan's work is re-bidding the entire department and its possible I may have NO more weekends with him), but I'm smart enough to realize that it wouldn't do my mom any good for me to over-do it. So I've spent my time off since Thursday keeping busy
with things that are fun as well. On Christmas Eve day I spent the day (before gift-opening) with Ryan and his crew. I tell you, I have a talent for being there when they have interesting calls. After playing Xbox for an hour (I let Ryan take it for the day), we went to an accident that was so horrifying it reminded me that my family is really lucky compared to some. We had another accident after that, a rear-ender, and I was reminded from that one that everything is relative. When the man who'd been hit looked at me and said, "Merry Christmas, huh?" I thought that to him this really could have ruined his Christmas, and just because his troubles are different then mine, it doesn't make them any less important.

OK, another fun thing I did was take myself and my camera to the zoo today. Here's two of my favorite pictures from today.

Yup, that's a baby orangutan right there. Cute! That was my favorite part of the day.

This Thursday I've got the Ya-ya girls (all 7 of us and some of our men!) coming over here for the gift-exchange. Its a yearly event that I stress over, but I feel pretty good about my crafty gift this year. I think they're all concerned that it might be too much for me to have it at my house, but I swear its something I've been looking forward to forever. Plus, now I can drink and not drive. ;-)

More updates, including the gift I gave Ryan, and the fun stuff I got. I'll give you a hint on Ryan's gift: he didn't shoot his eye out, but he could have!! ;-)


Blogger jt said...

You're doing exactly what you should. You're helping your Mom through this. Well done.


6:51 PM  
Anonymous shannon said...

I randomly came across your blog months ago, bookmarked it, and have always kept up and feel like i know you but really i dont as I am half way across the country in Iowa. However, when i came to your blog tonight and i read your first paragraph my heart went out to you. I cried. I had in my mind that it was your cousin that was sick. Then i read it was your mom and the tears flowed. My mom had a stroke a year ago and that was the hardest thing to see her stuck in a hospital bed. But i can't imagine the pain you are going through. Be strong for your mother. I love reading your blog. you are a great writer...and i will go have a beer for you!

7:23 PM  
Blogger jennypenny said...

Amanda. This post moved me so much. Hearing you speak so lovingly and strongly about your sick FM over the past little while I could really feel how important this person is to you and I had a feeling and you confirmed it that it was your mom fighting this horrible battle. I remember reading some of your blog posts over the last year before any of this came about saying how much you have admired your mom and how strong she is and what a positive force she has been in your life. Just take all those lessons of strength that you have learned from her and give them back. I hope you found some peace and joy over Christmas and it sounds like you did. You and your mom are certainly in my prayers.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Em said...

I feel for you ... truly. And am praying for you and your family. I also cannot stress enough how amazing it is that your family is so close -- cherish it.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous jenp said...

I have to say this, you are such a talented blogger :) I am glad you had a good christmas. I was thinking about you. You are going to get daughter of the year award. love you!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Goofy Girl said...

I'm really sorry to hear that about your mom. :( I can't imagine how hard that is, esp now.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

I'm so sorry to hear it's your Mom that's sick. I hope she (and you) are doing well. Remember to take care of yourself, too, ok?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Amanda Cowan said...

Hey girl.. I second that, I'm so sorry to hear about that.. My entire family will be sending some prayers your way for you and your family. It sounds like you're mom has a great attitude though..and from Chris' moms experience with lymphoma that is so much of it.

10:46 AM  
Blogger melati said...

So sorry to hear that your mom is the one suffering. I know that you are providing boundless comfort to her, and hope that you remain strong. Remember to take time for yourself to recharge.

My thoughts are with you...

1:13 PM  
Blogger M said...

Your strength for your mom is great... I'm so sorry she is sick, but I'm glad that you're taking it in stride as much as you can. My wishes for a healthier new year.
And Merry Xmas, too.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amanda, I am so sorry that your mom is sick. Your family sounds amazingly supportive, and your mom sounds like she has the right attitude to fight through this.
May 2007 bring your mom a clean bill of health.
Happy New Year! I'll be thinking good thoughts for you and your family.

2:41 PM  

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