I Was A Soon to be Mom at Risk of Losing My Own Mother
Pregnancy is hard enough with the emotional roller coasters and appetite changes. My pregnancy made me horribly sick the majority of the time, especially during the first trimester, but none of that pain could compare to the pain I felt when I found out my mother had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I experienced extreme emotions of complete despair to overwhelming joy throughout my pregnancy. I never knew how much I truly appreciated my mother until this time in my life. For all of you have a loved one fighting, has fought, or will fight cancer; I write this, so you may know you are not alone in this struggle.
The Devistating News
The Shock of It All
I was pregnant with my first child; the first grand-baby for my parents. We were all so thrilled and I hadn't been pregnant very long when I got a call from my mother that would turn my world upside down. She was very calm, which always worries me, as that is usually the first sign that something is wrong. Then, she said, "I don't want you to get worried." I was trying to prepare myself for whatever the next words were that I was about to hear, but I felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me when she told me she found out she had cancer. I gasped and sat there in silence for a moment and then said I would be putting her on mute to tell my husband. As soon as I pushed the mute button I started sobbing and I could barely get the words out to explain to my husband what I had just discovered. When I got back on the phone I tried as hard as I could to stay composed, but my mother could tell I had been crying and that is when she broke down. She proceeded to say I needed to try to be happy for the baby's sake and that everything would be fine and she quickly ended the conversation, so she would not convey the worry in her voice, but I knew exactly what she was thinking. After I hung up, my husband held me as I cried.
At the time, my husband and I lived across the entire country from where our families were, we had moved only a few months prior to conceiving. I wished more than ever that I could be by my mother's side. I felt so helpless and wondered how something so horrible could happen to such an amazing person. My mother was a little overweight, but dispite that had always been a fairly healthy person, a beam of positivity even with all the tough experiences she had already endured in her life, and always went beyond what was expected for any of her roles. It was heart wrenching to think about the possibility of having a baby without my mother on this earth. The only way I could keep my emotions from engulfing me was to try to reassure myself that everything would be okay and to focus on my unborn child.
Battling With Chemo
You don't know how much chemo can really affect the body until you experience it or see a loved one go through treatment. My mom had to wear a mask while she was working because she came in contact with so many people and her immune system was compromised. She also was throwing up from how sick the chemo made her and had a hard time eating. She kept working even though she was so weak and felt pain all over her body. Let me tell you, from what I saw, the chemotherapy was the worst part of the cancer. She experienced so many ill effects from it that it was hard to imagine that this was a "treatment." I am still amazed at how much she accomplish while going through all of that.
I know it was very difficult for my mother to lose her hair from the chemo, so she really appreciated hats, wraps, and covers she could use during that time. Not only did the head covers help build her confidence back, but they also protected her beautiful bald head from the sun. The treatments also took forever, so it was nice to have some ways to pass the time. In addition, the room is kept cold to ward off any bacteria, as patients are extremely susceptible to infection, so anything that can make them warm can help as well as give them comfort. Sending her items that would help her a little more comfortable was one small way that I felt like I could help.
Cancer Was Only the Beginning
"When It Rains, It Pours"
After the initial news, everything seemed to go so quickly, and Mom just kept going through struggle after struggle. At one point it seemed like my mom was continually being tested; physically and spiritually. The hysterectomy was immediately scheduled, after which there were some complications. She faced recovering from the surgery while also dealing with trying to keep up with medical bills that were already piling up. Then, the doctors said there were signs the cancer had spread outside of her uterus and informed her that she was at a stage 3A risk. They gave her some options and after much thought, consideration, and prayer my mother decided to proceed with chemotherapy.
As time went on I was being reassured that everything was fine and that my mother was actually doing a little better at times, but I knew they were just trying to protect me from reality for my safety and the health of the baby. Never the less, for some unexplainable reason I started to feel like I needed to know everything I could about the type of cancer my mother had, the hysterectomy procedure, the type of chemo she was being treated with, the affects of the chemo, what stage 3A meant etc. (see the links below) As if I were almost trying to catch up with everything that had happened. The details were daunting and I was more worried than ever.
If all that my mother had gone through already wasn't enough, my sister who was living at home was fighting endometriosis, which was causing her to be very weak. My mom did everything she could to make sure that she was getting the treatment she needed.
Throughout every trial my mother had thrown at her, she continued to be a pillar of strength for our entire family. No matter what physical hardships and emotional anguish my mom faced she somehow always searched for the positive and found hope. Not to say she did not have bad days where she would break because the reality of it all was too much, but she would continuously find a way to pick herself back up and everyone around her as well. It humbled me to see that no matter what she was going through, Mom was always more worried for the family, my sister, me, the baby, and even other patients she had met while going through treatment than herself.
A Birth and The Beginning of an End
The time was getting closer for me to have the baby and I knew my mother wasn't going to be able to be with me because of the circumstances of her situation. It was my greatest wish that we could be together, not only so I could have her help and support while having my first baby, but so I could also be there for her in all that she was experiencing. It was so difficult to contemplate not having her there, but knowing how strong she was is what pushed me through the labor. When the time came, I was induced and in labor for seven hours from the point of when my water broke (we were at the hospital about five hours prior to that). Finally, I delivered a healthy, beautiful, baby boy without any complications, even though the experience itself was rough in multiple ways. The following day my sister's health started to decline and emotionally it was an extremely hard day for me. I was so happy to have my baby in my arms, yet I hurt so much to know the pain my family was enduring thousands of miles away. My baby boy also was having difficulties nursing and was battling jaundice. I wanted my family, especially my mother, there more than anything that day. I got very close with God and Christ at that point in my life and it is what personally got my through that time.
You never know what life will throw at you and unfortunately things got worse before they got better; my faith is what pulled me through it all. My sister was admitted to hospital a few days after I gave birth at about the same time my mother had her last chemo treatment. Although we did not know what the end result would be after mom completed her chemo treatments, we could only pray she would never have to experience anything like that in her life again. At the time, it also felt like our family was going right into another battle with my sister's health, which thankfully got better a few months later after having surgery. My mother also started having problems with Beta Strep; something she had contracted through a previous pregnancy, which was dormant until this time. She started having to carrying an antibiotic with her that was attached to a tube in her body. The tube also moved inside of her and to our shock we found it had traveled too far in her body. They were able to fix this, but at the time it was like life was fighting against my mom again.
It really wasn't until this was all over that our family was finally able to rejoice in the blessings of our newest member and the amazing fight my mom and sister put up. I was able to truly put things in the Lord's hands during several periods throughout this all.
Miracles Can Happen
A year after her last treatment, my mother finally started to become herself again and after another round of numerous tests, they finally said the words we all had been hoping and praying for; there were no longer any signs of cancer! We know there is always the chance the cancer could come back, but it opened our eyes to what we take for granted, that we need to enjoy life, and appreciate everything. Life is fragile and if we aren't careful we can lose track of what is most important. Thus, I share this with you, not to say you will have the same experience with endometrial cancer, not to say our experience was worse or better than anyone else, or even how to prepare yourself for a situation similar to this, but rather to help you find hope and realize how amazing life really is. Try not to lose faith, no matter how hard things may seem. Most of all, I wish for all those who are going through hard times, whether you are battling cancer or are a friend or a family member of someone that is, to find the comfort and strength you need to make it through whatever life has in store.
Medical Research & Help Information
To find out more about endometrial cancer and some of the procedures and treatments my mother went through, or that someone you might know could also be going through, please visit the following sites:
I would like to hear from you...do you know someone with endometrial or uterine cancer? How has it affected you? Did this article help at all?
© 2014 Rymom28
Has Your World Been Altered by Cancer?
Amy on July 06, 2016:
I am going through this right now.
My mom got diagnosed with cancer about 6 months into my pregnancy. She's been doing chemo and been so incredible and strong. Your post really makes me feel that I'm not alone. Thank you so much.
Rymom28 (author) on November 15, 2015:
Angela, I'm very sorry to hear your mother has that diagnosis and wish your pain could be taken away. Make the most of your time on this earth together. The one thing that might bring you any kind of peace is knowing that one day she will no longer feel the pain she is in. I will be saying prayers for you and your family. Many blessings to you in your pregnancy; I hope it will be full term without complications. Best of luck to you and yours.
Rymom28 (author) on November 15, 2015:
I am so sorry that they have gone beyond this life, but I do believe they are looking out for you Christina. May God bless you to feel them still in many parts of your life.
Angela on November 11, 2015:
5 weeks ago on a monday i found out that after a year of trying and fertility pills im expecting my first baby. That friday we found out my mom has stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. What it boils down to is chemo will maybe lengthen her life, but shes not going to make it. I didnt expect to find stories like mine, but im glad i did. Thank you for sharing!
Christiana on October 28, 2015:
Your comment just made me cry, thinking about my little one looking out for my mom. My mom's sister is up there too, recently died of bone cancer and breast cancer. I sure hope the two of them have some pull up there!
Rymom28 (author) on October 23, 2015:
I am so sorry to hear the pain and trails you and so many others are enduring.
Jackie, so very glad to hear they were able to catch your mom's early. May she live a long and healthy life!
Christiana, stay strong and count on others to hold you up. I believe your little angel is watching over and your mom.
Sending prayers and hope!
Christiana on October 23, 2015:
I'm 5 weeks pregnant after having endured a miscarriage three months ago due to stress while my father was in the ICU. My mom was diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer today. Your writing is helping me more than you know. Thank you. I hope the outcomes of my pregnancy and my mother's fight will be as triumphant as yours.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 20, 2015:
My mom had this cancer too and had to have the hysterectomy but it was in the very early stages and went no further. I know having loved my mom so much what you must have gone through.
Thanks for sharing; which helps so many going through the same things.
Rymom28 (author) on August 14, 2015:
I am sorry your mom, you, and your family are experiencing that. I pray that she will make it through and fights a great fight!
I did not see a therapist, although now looking back I think I probably should have. When I was getting ready to have the baby and while in labor I tried to focus on getting my mind off of everything. My husband was a great help. I did not feel it was selfish to do that, as I felt it was best for my child and my body to proform best if I tried to relax as much as possible. It was after delivery that was the hardest for me. If you can, I would recommend having a very close female friend or family member to be there with you after for you to lean on when reality is hitting to bring you back up. Just look at your child and allow yourself to feel that joy, that is what your mother would want.
I am glad I can help in any way possible. God bless you and your family!
Harshi on August 14, 2015:
I am 25 weeks pregnant and my mother has grade 4 brain cancer. She is currently going through radiation and chemo therapy. She is also strong willed person just like your mom. Me and my husband live across the globe from her. Right now I am visiting and with her. I can relate so much to you. Reading your article gave me hope and happiness. Greatful to God that everything is going great for you, Ryan and your mom. Just wanted to ask you what was going on in your mind when you were in labor and just before delivery. How were you concentrate on yourself and take care of your baby? Were you seeing a therapist to help you? I am sorry to ask all these questions..
Rymom28 (author) on May 19, 2015:
I'm really glad it helped lisal. Stay strong! Praying all goes well.
lisal on May 16, 2015:
I'm going thru the same exact thing except my mother has cevical cancer. Your article helped me so much. I felt like i was alone and no one understands. Thank you so much
Rymom28 (author) on March 02, 2015:
Sprickita, to answer your questions; yes, we have been together a few times since and my mother has a year left before she can be deemed completely cancer free. My little boy's name is Ryan. I appreciate you taking the time to read about my experience.
sprickita from Reno on February 23, 2015:
What an amazingly happy ending, has everyone been able to get together sense? What did you name your little fella ,if I may ask? Sorry if these questions were answered n i missed it. 8-)
Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on November 14, 2014:
Thanks for sharing your story with us. We must never take our life for granted, never know what's just around the corner.
Hope everything is well with your mother and baby is a happy little person, loved by all. A real joy to your mom.
Rymom28 (author) on August 22, 2012:
@Annbulance2000: Thank you so much, I didn't feel strong at the time, but seeing how strong my mother was through it all gave me strength. Many blessings to you.
Annbulance2000 on August 22, 2012:
What an amazing person your Mum sounds and so do you. Thank you for your honest writing here, it has helped me and others too I am sure. I wish all your family well now and for the future.
Rymom28 (author) on June 21, 2012:
@ajgodinho: I could not have said it better myself; it did make my mom so much stronger. However, I feel a little weakness has been left inside me, as I still remember those feelings of helplessness. We are so very blessed and I thank God always my mother is still alive and well. Thank you and may all the blessings that are in store for you be poured out upon you and yours as well.
Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on June 21, 2012:
As they say, what one goes through, makes them stronger. I can't imagine what it must have been going through that trying period of trials and pain, but am blessed to know that the outcome turned out positive. It shows that it's vital to not lose hope and fight until the end. Wishing you and your family good health and many blessings!
Rymom28 (author) on June 10, 2012:
@indigoj: Thank you so much, we are so blessed. I only can hope and pray that more people are able to pull through cancer, as it can happen to anyone.
Indigo Janson from UK on June 10, 2012:
What a difficult time for you all. I am so glad you came through it, and your mother sounds so strong, but cancer can hit even the strongest hard. I'm sure you were a support and comfort even though your mother wanted to protect you during your pregnancy.
Rymom28 (author) on June 08, 2012:
@Lady Lorelei: Yes, it was very difficult and every time she goes to the doctor to see if the cancer has come back or not I get so scared. My mom is my inspiration, she the kind of mom that I hope I can be for my kids. Thank you for reading and liking the lens.
Rymom28 (author) on June 08, 2012:
@LornsA178: I really appreciate that LornsA17, I owe all my thanks to God for watching and directing us in our lives. May God bless you and yours!
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 08, 2012:
What an emotional story of birth and recovery from cancer. It truly must have been an emotional roller coaster for you.
Lorna from USA on June 07, 2012:
I'm glad your mom recovered from cancer. Thanks for sharing your story. All of us will be tested and will face trials of many kinds, but God is always there to give us the strength.