I just celebrated my 49th birthday this month (February 2014) and am currently a stay-at-home grandma. Up until August of 2010 I was the Packaging Center Manager of our local newspaper. I loved my job and it consumed my life. Then in July, I received a summons for jury duty and my life changed drastically overnight. The experience triggered a severe case of PTSD with mild agoraphobia that has kept me locked not just in my home, but in my bedroom in my home. I find it very difficult to interact with people, and physically painful to try to go out in public. Digi-scrapping has become my link to the outside world. Slowly but surely I am beginning to remember who I was before attempting to do my civic duty, lol. I'm happy to be a part of the Pixel Scrapper community and look forward to getting to know everyone.
Kit: Choose Hope by Scraps N Pieces
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Journaling: I would like to say that Mama is a survivor of breast cancer, but she is not. She started out fighting the good fight. Ironically, Mama found the mass in her left breast shortly after her return home from a cross-country trip to bury her brother - who had just died of cancer. Two months later the doctors did a radical mastectomy. Little did we know that during those two months while we waited for her surgery, the cancer was spreading into her lymph system where it would become unstoppable. Mama kept up her resolve and began her chemotherapy. Nothing pleasant there, but she dug in her heels and rode it out. Then Christmas came, and on Christmas Eve my brother burned down Mama's house while in a manic/psychotic cycle of his bipolar disorder. Mama had already started her radiation therapy at this point, and the site of the mastectomy was horribly burned. Infection set in leaving her with a large hole in her chest that had to be cleaned and packed twice a day. This job was assigned to me. The county provided a house for her to live in while her home was being rebuilt and I stopped in twice a day to do her wound care. Between the fire, being in a strange environment while she was so sick and still suffering from mistakes made in her medical care (including bypass surgery and valve replacement that is was later discovered she never needed - the doctors no longer practice medicine and the hospital went under), having to hide from my brother instead of caring for him (he becomes violent when manic), it finally just became too much and Mama made the decision to stop all treatment. She shared her decision one evening while I was tending to her. There was no talking her out of it. No reasoning with her. She was done, and she wanted me to promise to take care of her when the time came. She didn't want to be in a hospital when she drew her last breath. When it was clear our time was quickly running out, I took a 2-month leave from work and dedicated myself to Mama's comfort and care. Almost 2 months to the day, Mama lost her fight with the cancer. She passed lying in a bed in my sister's living room surrounded by her children and her husband. I would like to say that Mama is a survivor of breast cancer, but she is not.
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