Just to warn everyone this blog post is very emotional and means a lot to me!
I’m here to talk about my Mamaw Sandy and how much I admire her for staying strong during what’s she’s been through.
A few things about my Mamaw I’d like to share with ya’ll!
Mamaw is a very strong southern woman who will make up her own words from time to time 😉 She is kind and gentle, but will tell you straight up if she doesn’t agree with something. Those of you that have met her knows that she will take you in heartbeat as one of her own grandchildren. We always tell her how cute she is and she’ll deny it, but I think she knows haha! She loves southern cooking, playing solitaire on her tablet and watching her soap operas(didn’t know they were still on to be honest). We always have our family get togethers on Mother’s day weekend and Christmas Eve at their house (not Christmas if not at Mamaw’s) with a wonderful meal and family time. I feel she is the closest grandparent I have and I love her dearly!
My Mamaw was diagnosed with stage 4 Ovarian Cancer back in Oct 2016. Hearing this news made me so upset because stage 4 usually doesn’t mean good news. The doctors said that it was spreading throughout her body and started her on chemo right away. Throughout 2017 things were looking better! She had been placed on a couple different chemo’s and lost her hair, but she didn’t let that phase her. She worked that wig when she decided to wear it! I could tell a difference in her mood a couple days after chemo because she would be almost too tired to do anything. She did have really good days a couple weeks after the chemo kicked in to where she was back to her old self.
Towards the end of 2017, Mamaw got cleared to remove the tumor and go into surgery. Once everything was done, the doctors told us that they removed 99% of the cancer and there is a chance that it will come back, but hopefully not for years. Mamaw had been through so much before all of this with being a type 1 diabetic and having quadruple bypass surgery on her heart. You can see how I admire her for being so strong through everything she’s had to deal with.
Mamaw was having stomach pains a couple weeks ago and went straight to the hospital. Unfortunately, what the doctors found was not good….her tumor was back and has spread through her intestines. They informed us that at this point, that it is not curable. I didn’t know how to react when my stepmom informed me on the phone. All these thoughts were going through my head, “This is it?” “Why is it not curable?” “What happened to years down the road it might come back? It’s not even been a year yet.” While I’m asking myself these questions in my head, on the phone I was calm. Trying to be strong for everyone like I always do. After a long pause before I said goodbye, I hung up. Broke down with uncontrolled tears and sobbing. I calmed down after a while, and my stepmom and my Dad (Mamaw’s son) ended up visiting me because they were worried.
They told me that Mamaw doesn’t want tears and that the doctors will be putting her on another chemo to try a prevent the tumor from growing anymore. Basically, to try to help her live the rest of her life comfortably. We are not aware of the time we have left with her, but I know how much of a trooper she is and she’ll live everyday like it’s her last. She’s already talking about taking a family trip to the mountains this summer because it’s what she’s always wanted to do.
Please take advantage of the time you have with your friends and family! Sure, family can be annoying at times, but maybe it just might take a vacation or even dinner with them to share the most precious memories. You never know, but life is short and I’d like to cherish the time I have left with my Mamaw.