On August 2, my Mom and best friend was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Our life has been nothing short of a terrifying roller coaster ride since…full of questions, ugly crying, a barrage of tests and so many nights sleeping on a couch in a hospital room than I can or care to remember. It’s also been full of love, laughter, support and even more ugly crying….
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM IV) has become a regular part of our vocabulary. It’s a tumor that is made up of the supportive tissue of the brain. These cells reproduce quickly and are very aggressive. Unlike most glioblastomas, Momma’s tumor encompasses most of her brain on her right side. It’s shaped like a banana, which to a lot of Doctor’s may stun, but to us McDonalds’ it just proves that we are uniquely made….if it’s weird — we have it. If you know us, then you know this to be true. (You’ll also know that we have a dark sense of humor and laughter is what we need and do best. If you are offended by our musings, I cannot apologize. We need them to survive.) Because these tumors come from normal brain cells, it’s easy for them to invade and live within normal brain tissue and dead cells may be seen towards the center of the tumor. So essentially, it eats away at the healthy cells in brain and destroys everything in its path.
Her tumor is incurable. She has already undergone a biopsy and a craniotomy, which resulted in a brain hemorrhage that landed her a two-week hospital stay and is now in a rehab facility where she is working on regaining her strength so she may begin radiation and chemo…again…she’s also a breast cancer survivor – two times over!
She’s also a pretty amazing woman with an amazing faith. The kind of faith that I admire.
Because while I’m all ugly crying in the shower so nobody can see me and the water can sort of drown out my sobs – screaming at God “why?”, she’s all like “you need someone to talk to and sort out your feelings. Be honest with my grand-babies and help them work through this. I don’t want them scared.”
But what about you Momma? Aren’t you scared? Aren’t you mad at God for this? Don’t you question Him with why? You are the one who needs someone to talk to!
And she says to me, “why should I be mad at Him? He’s done nothing but be kind to me and blessed me over and over again. I guess I could ask Him why me, but why not me?”
And that is the vision of a woman who knows whose she is and is bathed in His peace. Peace that passes ALL understanding. And wrapped in His love.
So while I should be ministering to my Mommy, who sits in a wheelchair beside her hospital bed, staring off into space…..she is ministering to me.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
Ok God….here we go…..