The Cast Of Survivor
Oct. 1, 2011 3:20 pm
Updated: Oct. 9, 2011 12:50 am
On a crisp and cold, but sunny morning in early January 2008, the pretty young 38 year old wife and mother of 3 called out, "Hey Mama, come in here." There at the foot of the snow laden Rocky Mountains in New Mexico 12 miles from anything what-so-ever
was the 5 acre paradise this young women, along with her husband, had built by the sweat of their brow and their own two hands. It was the end of the most perfect of Holiday Vacations for Lisa's parents. And, the beginning of the nightmare that would follow.
I walked in the bathroom she had called me into to see what my youngest daughter needed. She asked me to feel something on the side of her right breast. A lump! OMG, a lump! It was about the size of a walnut. I asked her how long she had had this lump. "Oh,
gee Mama, probably a month or so." We immediately discussed the need for her to see a doctor. She promised me she would call her family doctor the next day after she and my SIL deposited us at the airport. Our perfect Christmas vacation was over and it was
time to come home to Oregon.
Well, we came home to Oregon and she went to the doctor. Five days later, her world and ours was turned upside down. Lisa was diagnosed with "invasive and aggressive" breast cancer. She would require bilateral mastecotomies and a full year of aggressive chemotherapy.
My babygirl could NOT have cancer. No, this isn't happening. It is absolutely a mistake. My yougest daughter with 3 young children, a husband, a very busy life (Pioneer Woman style) is not sick! But, she was. I immediatley went into Super-Mom mode and made
arrangements to put my life on hold to help to be available for her recovery from surgery and the effects I knew would result from her chemotherapy.
One morning two weeks later, as I walked into my still dark kitchen to make coffee, I collapsed in grief across my kitchen countertops and sobbed uncontrollably. How can this be happening? I begged God to let this all be a bad dream. Please I asked, "let me
wake up." Please.."let it be me." I spent the day praying the best negotiating prayers I ever prayed and crying, "Please God, do not let this be happening." But, it was. And, I had to "buck up" and be a support for my good and beautiful and courageous daughter.
I flew back to New Mexico and was there during her recovery from surgery. I took her to all of her doctor appointments and attended CANCER classes with her. We went to the wig shop at the Cancer Center and did the tour of the chemo department. She would start
chemo in 6 weeks.
After filling her freezer with precooked meals, I came back home to Oregon. She started chemo. It would be 8 hours every Monday for one full year. She got sick, went bald, developed seeing problems, hemorranged and almost died twice. Our family supported her
by wearing pink bandanas (DuRags for those of you familier with the Grateful Dead) every Monday. We arranged for meals, house cleaning and kid transportation. We prayed, sent cards of encouragement and phoned on a regualr basis to talk with her AND her husband
and children to make sure they were doing alright. Their family and friends rallied like nothing I've ever seen. Here in Oregon, my extended family and friends rallied like something I've never seen. It was amazing.
In October of 2010, a co-worker asked me if I would like to walk with her team for the Susan G. Koman sponsored "Walk for the cause, Run for the Cure" walk in our town. Of course I said yes. Our entire family joined in the walk. It was a very cathardic, moving
and humbling experience. On that day, I committed to walk every year until a cure for breast cancer is found or I am no longer able to walk. THIS year, my precious girl Lisa, now 41 walked with a diagnosis of "No Evidence Of Disease." She is a SURVIVOR. The
Grand Marshall was Laura Morett, CBS TV Reality Show Survivor Cast Member, 2009-2010 Season. She is also a Breast Cancer Survivor.
There are many Cast Members of Survivor: Cancer Survivor. I saw lots of them today as we walked proudly to help stomp out this beast of a disease that takes the lives of men and women.
I wanted to share my story of HOPE with you; my AR family. I also wanted to let you know that I continually HOPE for a cure. I wear a braclet that bears the letters H O P E. I make and give these braclets away to others. As long as I have breathe, I will HOPE
for a cure. Today I hope that anyone you know and love with cancer will be a "Cast Member of Survivor."
Me & Hubby sporting our Pink DuRags
2009 The bald, but BEAUTIFUL Lisa
A much needed outting. Lisa sunning herself by a mountain creek
Monday; Chemo Day
A Family Of Support
October 1, 2011
Walk For the Cause, Run For the Cure
Lisa and Candice
Two Survivors, Lisa and Laura
Lisa's MIL, Lisa, Laura and Candice