Emotions

I find myself really struggling with the emotional side of having a loved one with a terminal illness.  I have not wanted to even say the word “terminal”.  The feelings ebb & flow, but, lately they are very intense and I am very emotional.  I’m sure the holidays have a lot to do with that!!

Shana is responding well to the clinical trial drug.  However, she is in pain every single day.  She is a trooper and continues on with taking care of her children, grocery shopping, laundry, being there for her friends and just trying to live her life the best she can.  She hardly ever complains. She is an amazing young woman.

It is difficult to watch the children wrestle with their feelings about their Mother’s illness.  They are all dealing with more than they should at such young ages.

We have a lot of help and support and are facing each day together.  We are grateful for every moment we have together.

We literally have a “team” of people that come to the house to help the children process their feelings, and give Shana the support she needs.

I am having a tough “season”, but, am trying to focus on gratitude.  I certainly have been blessed with a wonderful family.

I guess the emotions I am feeling are just a part of being real and dealing with cancer. It’s overwhelming at times.

Today I am trying to be strong and focus on just putting one foot in front of the other.  My heart is heavy.

This holiday season is bitter sweet, but, I am glad Shana will be sitting at the table with us.

“One day at a time”.

LJM



Tri for cure

July 29, 2012

Today I witnessed the strength, determination and boundless love that my oldest daughter, Kristy, possesses.  Her love for her sister touches the very depth of my soul.

Kristy participated in the Maine Cancer Tri for Cure Triathlon!!  It is a day that not only touched me deeply, but, once again my life has been changed.  There is a healing power in love. Through Kristy’s outpouring of love for Shana today there was a healing.  What a gift for Shana, and for me.  I feel so blessed to have two beautiful daughter’s that share a bond that sisters share.  It brings tears to my eyes.

The days event changed me in a way I cannot describe.  To see so many people that have survived this dreadful disease gave me hope.  To see them participate in the event brought me to tears.

To see the names of people that have passed on written on loved ones arms, legs and fliers hanging brought home the reality of what this disease does to people and families.  Young and old it doesn’t choose.  But, it gave me strength and hope to know people do continue to live life and honor those that lost their battle.

All I know today is the human spirit is amazing.  I love my family and find great comfort in making moments like today really count.

I am very proud of my daughter and what she accomplished today.  She also raised close to $1,200 for the Maine Cancer Fund.  That fund will help many families like mine that have a love one battling this disease.

We still continue our trips to Dana Farber, but, it is getting very old and tiring for Shana.  She is sick of being sick!

I find my strength through my faith to carry on…one day at a time..some days one minute at a time.

God bless all those wonderful athletes that made a huge impact today on so many lives.

Please continue to keep Shana in your prayers.



June 26, 2012

One day at a time.

This Saturday will be yet another benefit/fundraiser for my precious daughter.

I am running on empty.

I trust & pray that whatever will be will be.  Whoever is suppose to be at the benefit will be there and whatever money we are suppose to raise we will raise.

I have no control over anything.

I love my kid.  Today that is all I know.

LJm



Day by Day

The sun comes out and the rain pours down.  The moon shines over the water, and the sun rises each and every day.  The tides go in and out, and the wind blows in whatever direction it chooses.  That is life.

People climb mountains, they swim, hike, read, laugh, cushion their bank accounts, work hard, play hard, cry and feel moments of great sadness and joy.  That is life.

Babies are born & people die.  That is life.

We follow rules, we pay our taxes, we have the freedom to vote.  That is life.

People get this horrible disease called cancer.  This is my daughter’s life.  A young, vibrant, beautiful  young woman with stage IV cancer.  A single 30 year old Mother of three beautiful kids.  That is her life.

She is on week 4 of a clinical trial drug.  It is making her feel horrible.  She lost 5 lbs in one week and is very thin.  The flood of emotions that come with facing the reality of this disease are hitting her hard.  The many trips to Dana Farber are exhausting.  Shana’s veins have been poked so much that now they roll when they attempt to take blood.  The next option will be a port.  Shana is dead set against that.  How will she ever wear her bathing suit?!!!  lol!  She’s  a funny girl.

Her children are acting out because they know she is ill, but, they don’t understand.  Family therapy is a part of the plan.

I am overwhelmed.  I have my own emotions to deal with and I am trying to stay strong for Shana and the kids.  Unless you’ve walked this path you will not understand all that goes with having  a sick family member.  But, my focus is ME first and then my family.

I broke my foot a couple of weeks ago and that has slowed me right down as far as being able to do things.  I think that was the only way I would have stopped and slowed down.  Now that I have time to “sit” I have all the feelings hitting the surface.  It is a lot to deal with.

But, in my life I find the joy and strength to carry on.  I can admit that I am running on empty and I have nothing extra to give to anyone.  I know some will understand that and others will not.  It’s only important that I get it and my family gets it.

When my 5 year old granddaughter tells me “this is the best day of my life”,  I find great joy, and it motivates me to live in the moment!

I am praying for a second wind that will help me keep on keeping on.

A vacation is in order so I can get the break I need before I break.

Today is sunny & beautiful.  That is life today.

Thank you to all of you who have offered support.  Thank you for your positive & encouraging words.  Thank you for understanding I am only human and have only so much of me to go around.  Thank you for your prayers.

LJM



June 3 Benefit

I am looking forward to this Sunday.  We are having a benefit fundraiser at The Rough (Lobster Barn) in York, Maine. 12-6pm.  5 bands, good food & great family and friends!   If you can join us we’d love to have you!

I want this to be a day of celebrating Shana’s beautiful spirit and life!

I have worked very hard to make this happen, but, I have had a lot of wonderful people helping me, too.  We do not journey this life alone.

In the quiet of the night I am overwhelmed with sadness.  Even though this will be a fun event, for me it is very bitter sweet.  I never imagined having to plan benefits for my 30 year old kid that has cancer.  Some days I am just numb with pain.

But, I have learned to lay my burdens down.  Now if I can just learn to not pick them back up again!!

But for the grace of God go I.

LJM



Mother’s Day

I had a wonderful day.  I feel very blessed to have 3 beautiful children.

This week Shana starts a clinical trial drug at Dana Farber.  She is the very first patient to be on this drug.  Her Dr is the top in the Nation for her type of cancer.  His name is Mathew Kulke, MD.

If you’d like to google the drug you can find it on  www.clinicaltrialdrugs.gov  The ID is:  NCT 01374451.  It’s the only option we have right now to try and keep Shana’s cancer from spreading.

I am still working at raising money to get her an alternative treatment.  In the interim we will follow the Drs orders and do this trial drug.  Shana is nervous and worried about the mouth sores that are one of the major side affects.

Soon we will most likely move in to a place together.  Once she starts treatment she is going to be tired and will need more help.  Lots of details to work out and deal with.

We cherish your prayers.

I love being a Mom.

LJM



May 12, 2011

This day is very bitter sweet.  It was a year ago today my Dad passed away.  It was also a year ago that we found out that Shana’s cancer had spread.

When I look back over the last year it was filled with many trials & tribulations, joys & sorrows.  This is what we call life!

I am grateful for what I have learned in my life about coping.  I have good days & bad days.  I am compassionate, and I get angry.  I am grateful for all three of my children, and my 9 grandchildren.  I am pissed that my beautiful daughter has cancer @30!!!  My heart is open to other families going through struggles and losses.  Yet some days I can only handle what is right in front of me.  I’m lucky if I take a shower!!  (or I should say you are lucky if I take a shower!)  It’s called being human and dealing with what life has dealt.

I look for the good & I deal with the bad.

I miss my Dad..

I miss the way life was before Shana got cancer.

I celebrate each moment I have with my friends & family.

I trust in God to help us through.

Peace to my beautiful family & friends.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I am very blessed with 3 great kids!  and a wonderful MOM!!



The Good news/bad news

The good news is all of Shana’s blood work and vitals are normal.  Her liver function test is normal, which is amazing.  She is very overwhelmed, but, being so very brave.  I am so proud of her, and feel so bad that she has to face this horrible disease at such a young age.  It has certainly changed her life and the lives of all that love her.

We went to Dana Farber and Shana met with one of the Nations top neoroendocrine cancer oncologist.  Dr Matthew Kulke.  (very nice on my eyes!)  Shana will start a clinical trial drug beginning next week.  We have another trip to Boston on Monday for more blood work, and again on Thursday for the beginning of her treatment.

The bad news is Shana has 30+ tumors in her liver.  They have grown in a very short period of time.  The good news is they have not grown anywhere else in her body.

The bad news is my 30 year old daughter has stage IV cancer.

I feel numb as I am writing this.  It is certainly changing me in a way that I can’t describe.  My heart is still tender, my faith strong, but, I am tired and overwhelmed with emotions.

I’m not sure I even like this world today.  I’m not sure I like people either.  But, I adore my family.

Each new day brings new things.

I can’t wait for the sun to shine tomorrow.

LJM



There are no words

We just got the results back from an octreotide scan that Shana had and it confirmed her cancer is spreading in her liver.

We are headed to Dana Farber tomorrow (again) to talke with the oncologist there about adding another drug to her current treatment to help slow down the growth of her cancer.

I have no words to describe the pain I feel in my heart.  There are no words to describe how very helpless I feel.  I pray I have the stength to face each day as it comes and walk beside my beautiful dauther as she walks this journey with cancer.

I am grateful for all the good things in my life.  But, my heart is very heavy.

LJM



Spaghetti benefit

It was an amazing day on Sunday.  There are no words to describe the gratitude I feel in my heart.  So many loving and generous people coming together to suport my daughter.  My family and I are deeply touched and thankful.  Shana is in awe of how much people really care.

We walk this life one day at a time.  Some days one moment at a time.

Shana had her 2 hour octreatide scan today, which will tell us a lot about where the cancer has spread and how much is there.   We hope the next step is a trip to the clinic in Houston.

It was a joy to see all the people show up at Shana’s benefit.  What was even more joy was having my whole family together, and seeing Shana get filled up with love & support.  It will help carry her through.

To everyone that came- thank you from the depths of my heart.  To all of those that organized the benefit and worked hard to make it happen- my words truly cannot express my gratitude.  Thank you to all who are brave enough to walk along side of us during this challenging time.

Please continue to pray as we wait for the results of Shana’s test.

LJM