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Everything is Different

Two years ago we were in Mexico for a wedding and my mom was just beginning to discover the extent of her illness. She hadn’t told me or my siblings yet but it was obvious our lives were about to change forever. I remember, in the hotel room, stumbling upon an article about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and being convinced that was what she had. Turns out I was likely right but at that point, the origin of the cancer didn’t really matter anymore. I remember begging her to snorkel and go on an excursion with us, selfishly hoping she’d forget the pain she was in and we’d be “normal” again, but she declined.

Last year, my mom prepared for not one, but two thanksgiving dinners - even though she was NPO and had been on a strictly IV nutrition diet (TPN) for 8 months. To add insult to injury, when she woke up Thanksgiving day, her ostomy bag was filling with blood. In her desperation for normalcy, she insisted we forgo the ER and enjoy the day as a family. By the end of dinner, the bleeding had begun to slow and we arrived home to a package filled with handmade puppy sweaters from @leeleepatrick that brought much needed smiles to all of our faces. 

This year will be much different. Instead of staying local, we’re Pittsburgh bound with one very noticeable absence. Although I’ve been warned and anticipating all the emotions these holidays will bring, it hasn’t been what I’ve expected. Aside from a teary trip home from Honey Baked Ham, being grateful I had picked up at least some idea of things needed for the holidays, I’ve been relatively “okay.” It doesn’t feel much like the holidays but i think doing something new has made things a little bit easier. Plus, we have her last apple pie to take with us! But... I have 10+ hours of driving coming up so if you see some girl cruising the PA turnpike, ugly crying with a couple of bears in the back - that’d be me! 👋 

Safe travels everyone!

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