This is my mom and I from March of this year. We had spent the weekend together and had so much fun.
Then, just a month later, everything started going downhill. Mom called me on April 20th, to let me know she had just gotten home from the ER. She had been struggling with diarrhea that whole week before and had gotten dehydrated enough to need to go to the ER. After performing an x-ray of her abdomen, they ended up finding a mass on her lung. I will remember that moment and phone call forever. I was going out the door to our daughter's dance recital rehearsal and I was a wreck the whole night.
The next week began numerous appointments with doctors in LaCrosse, WI. I would travel to my parents and pick them up and then drive on to LaCrosse, a 4 hour trip for me. Over the course of the next three months myself and my sister, LeAnn would make several trips to LaCrosse. I knew that I needed to be at these appointments and attended nearly every single one.
Thankfully, I have a husband who is willing and able to step in for me at home.
I have really found these past 3 months with my parents to be such a blessing.
After CT scans, a bronchoscopy, a colonoscopy, ultrasounds, PET scans, labs, and explaining her situation dozens of times, it was found that mom had colitis that was causing the diarrhea.
It was also decided that this mass needed to be removed.
Mom had surgery to remove the mass on Friday, July 13th.
Once they were in, it was found the mass wasn't even on her lung, but attached to her chest wall. So the surgery was much easier because part of the lung didn't need to be removed along with the mass.
All along mom would tell the doctors and nurses that God must have given her the diarrhea so that this mass could be found before it caused any real problems. Even right up to the day of surgery, the diarrhea was still causing problems and she would joke, "Ok, God, you can let the diarrhea go now." The surgery went well and after a week in the hospital, she was released. Pathology reports showed the mass was a Schwannoma, or a tumor that generates from the nerves coming out of the spinal cord. They are very rare and usually benign and thankfully hers was....BENIGN!
We are so grateful that this has ended with such wonderful news. The tumor is gone and can't continue to grow and harm her organs. It left nothing behind to fester and spread. Mom can now focus on improving her strength and eating. The colitis has been difficult to get over, with mom losing nearly 40 pounds in these last 3 months. It will take her lots of time to get stronger and realize she can't go, go, go and do everything for everybody like she used to. She is slowly reintroducing foods back into her diet and hopefully, someday, she can enjoy her most favorite food of all....ice cream. I know when that day comes, I will be so happy to bring her whatever flavor of ice cream she wants!
Thanks to every one of you who prayed for my family and for my mom. It has been an exhausting and stressful three months, but am so thankful that I was able to support my mom and dad through it all.
My mom and I just a couple weeks ago.
My favorite Bible verse has a whole new meaning for me now:
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.