Prayers For Peggy: Reflections On Love And Motherhood

You might have read in my previous post that my mom was back in the hospital again, this time with meningitis. The meningitis is under control, thank God, but my mom hated being in the hospital. She was miserable to the max. So a couple of days ago, she transferred to a hospice facility. I haven’t seen the place, but my mom, dad and brother say that it is wonderful. You can even bring your pets there if you like!

Hospice is a scary word. Once I heard she had transferred there, I did some research, and what I found made me feel better. Hospice is not about giving up hope, but rather it’s about regaining a better quality of life. It’s about being with your family. It’s about comfort and peace and love. My mom indeed seems much happier and much more comfortable there. And that, my friends, is all I could ever wish for my beloved mother: peace, comfort and buckets of love.

I’m going to put myself out there now and share a letter that I wrote to her because it also explores some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been having about motherhood.

Dear Mom,

Since I’ve had my daughter, I’ve been thinking about you all the time. I don’t remember a lot from when I was very young, but the one thing that I do remember—strong and clear—is a feeling of overwhelming love for you. I think that’s my first real memory—not a place or a time, but a feeling of love for you. I was a true mama’s girl, as I’m sure you recall. I remember wanting to touch you and hug you and just generally wanting to be around you as much as possible. It occurred to me the other day that, before Tim, you were the original love of my life. Most people only associate that phrase with romantic love, but I think that’s silly. I am lucky enough to have three loves of my life: first there was you, then Tim and now there’s Colette. But you were first and I wanted you to know that.

Love,
Tanya

This letter, of course, became the family joke, with my dad and siblings crying that they “didn’t even make the list.” And to that I say, whatever, peeps. I gots plenty o’ love to go around.

I would be extremely grateful if you all could keep my mother in your thoughts and prayers. If you could send as much goodness as you can spare her way.

I love you like crazy, mom. I love you to the sky and back, and even further still. I love you all the way to the stars and the moon and into the furthest reaches of the ever-expanding universe. There is nowhere you can go where my love cannot reach you.

Rightwood Update

My mom had a billion tests last week to measure how her treatments were working. And the results are in.

Drumroll please…

1. It was determined that she did not actually have a stroke. All of her symptoms were caused by a bone spur in her shoulder. I’m not sure what a bone spur is, but it’s definitely better than a stroke.

2. All of her tumor markers went down. Again, even after asking my mom, I’m still not sure what a tumor marker is, but I can assure you this is a very good thing.

3. The tumors in her chest and abdomen have not progressed. Halt, bitches!

4. The tumor in her left hip has shrunk. The tumor in her right hip has disappeared. That’s right, I said disappeared.

The only thing that’s not under control yet is the skin cancer, but the doctor’s are not as concerned about that because it’s not life threatening. The next course of action is to do two rounds of chemo pills (to hopefully get that skin cancer busted up) and then go back to the hormone treatments.

How am I feeling right now? Grateful. Grateful to all you for your thoughts and prayers. Grateful to my mom for being such a fighter. And grateful that we got this wonderful news just before Christmas. I couldn’t have dreamed-up a better Christmas present.

Update

Thank you all for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to ask you to keep them going a little while longer.

It turns out my mom’s cancer is stage IV. Let’s just say that’s pretty much the opposite of what we were hoping for. Surgery is not an option. Our best bet is to keep the cancer from spreading, which means my mom will need chemo treatments for the rest of her life. Not ideal, but my mom insists it’s not going to cramp her style.

I will say I definitely picked an interesting time to quit drinking. I may or may not have had multiple red velvet cupcakes last night, but I did not have a drink. And as much as I want one, I’m not going to do it. I not only owe it to myself and Baby-Best-Yet-To-Be to stay as healthy as possible, but I now I owe it to my mother as well.

As my mom said last night, “We need to widen Hope Street into a freeway.” So that is what we’ll do. Because there is nowhere to go but onward.