This was a special Mother’s Day for our family. This year I celebrated with my Mom and my Grandmother….three generations with a combined age of 200 years! Now that’s a lot of life! Last year was hard on the women in my family. 2010 gave each of us our own challenges and as mothers and daughters do, we shared each other’s burdens and struggles. My Mom’s cancer reared it’s head in January and she was in various chemotherapy treatments through August. We were overjoyed when the doctor ended her treatment ahead of schedule given the successful results of the chemo. Just as we were ready to breathe a sigh of relief and greet the end of chemo, my Grandmother’s health began to decline. As she became weaker we realized it was time to make the tough decision for her to move out of her independent living apartment which had been her home for 23 years. We began the physically challenging and emotionally grueling task of emptying out her apartment and settling her into a small room in the health care wing of her retirement community. Last year I began to experience some new side effects from my brain injury as well as my epilepsy. I had to make adjustments to my medication to find the perfect concoction that is just enough to stop seizures while limiting the annoying side effects of the medication. Extensive neurological testing determined the permanent extent of my brain injury and I had to accept the harsh reality of change. That was hard…that was very, very hard.
Life is unpredictable. I don’t know when my Mom’s cancer may come back. I don’t know how much longer I have with my Grandmother. I don’t know when I will have another seizure. This Mother’s Day we had a table for three. Will our table next year be different? Thoughts of the unknown can permeate my mind…if I allow it. I choose not to allow it. I choose to focus my attention on what I can do and what I can change, for myself and for those that I love.
Last year was hard. This is a new year. I’m going to make every day count. I’m going to run. I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to run one step at a time towards a cure for cancer….because I can.
© Gatewood Campbell, June 2011