Mom's cancer is back. And it is back hard. I have friends ask me a lot "What can I do to help?" I have answers to that question.
- First and foremost I truly have faith in the power of prayer and positive thoughts. Mom can use all of the prayers and positive thoughts/vibes sent her way that she can get. (Her name, in lieu of Stephanie's Mom, is Gloria Johnson.) I do not care who or what you believe in as a Higher Power, I truly feel that we all believe in the same Higher Being, we just call that Being by different names. So if you believe in a Higher Power, please pray to whatever God you worship or believe in, for peace, strength, and comfort for my amazing Mom.
- My siblings and I have set up a fundraising page to raise funds for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. We did this last year and raised $4500 to help find a cure. This sucktastic cancer has no cure presently. It has one of the lowest survival rates of all of the cancers (that is not the good kind of statistic.) Since she has a blood cancer she feels it all over. So if you have funds to do so, please visit OUR DONATION PAGE and give what you can. Being fully honest, your donations will not save my Mom's life, but the money will help in research to find a cure for future patients and will save many lives in the future. The sibs and I will be running in a marathon/half marathon later this year to help raise funds and awareness.
- Next, did you know that if you log on to smile.amazon.com Amazon will give a percentage of your sale to the charity of your choice? I shop on Amazon all of the time, by going through the Smile Amazon link instead the purchases I am already going to make will help to benefit this charity. I have it set up to link automatically to benefit Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Inc. I just had to buy a big ticket item for work so it literally cost me nothing to donate!!
- And my last suggestion on ways to help is to share this blog post or Facebook status updates that I might post so that your family and friends maybe can help too. I am not too proud to beg for help in finding a cure for Multiple Myeloma by raising money any way I can and still keep my morals and standards.
Imagine doing something as simple as sneezing, but a sneeze no harder than any other sneeze will crack a rib because your bones are brittle because of the cancer. Imagine not being able to get out of bed to make it to the bathroom because the chemo you are on makes you so tired you physically cannot get out of bed. Imagine having a stem cell transplant that lands you in the same hospital bed for 3-4 weeks (if you are lucky) but that you are so sick you cannot remember 5 of those days ... at all. Then having to live the next 100 days isolated from family, friends, and neighbors because you have NO immune system. Imagine going from being active and vital at work to not being able to even make it to work in the time span of a week. Imagine having to live through this not once, not twice, but three times because of remission and recurrence.
Now imagine watching this happen to the person who gave you life and knowing there is nothing you can do to help alleviate her suffering. There is nothing you can do but cry as you watch your mother shrink before your eyes. My Mom used to be taller than I am by an inch or two. She now barely hits my shoulder. Cancer is the loneliest disease I know of. I can be surrounded by those I love, even my siblings, and feel completely alone because no one truly understands exactly how I feel watching Mom suffer like this. The same is true for my siblings, I cannot truly understand how they feel watching the exact same crappy cancer show I am watching. I pray every day begging God to let my mother live as long as He can, while taking her pain away so she can enjoy what is left of her life, knowing that these two requests are in opposition of one another. Watching the Tony Awards and crying in a room full of people I do not know because two actresses are singing a song that Mom wants sung at her funeral, knowing that that day is not too far in the future. I am no longer living a life of "every day"; I am living a life of "lasts" with Mom. I never know from one day to the next if this is her last ... anything. When Mom was diagnosed in 2008 we planned for the lasts and prayed for the best. Now we are closer to the lasts and pray for more time. Now I am not saying that Mom is dying tomorrow, I am not saying next month, I am not even saying next year. With this cancer it is so unpredictable; and with the advancements in research new treatments are coming daily that could help her live many more. Every time she crosses something off her bucket list I cheer for her while secretly hoping that we do not get everything on her bucket list accomplished so she has something to fight for to keep her alive longer.
Feeling all of these feelings is hard, every day. And I never, ever, ever, want anyone else to have to watch someone they love as much as I love Mom suffer like this in their future. I would not wish this cancer on my worst enemy or anyone they love. So yes, I will do everything I can to raise funds for research for this cancer so that no one ever has to suffer the way my Mom is suffering. If you can help monetarily, great. We'll take your donations. If you can offer a prayer, we will take that too! Cancer sucks. Hard. Hard! 'Nuff said.