When I Learned that My Mom has Cancer
My sister said, “Mom has cancer.” When you hear those words your whole world changes in an instant. That’s what happened to Amy Hagerup.
Guest post by Amy Hagerup
My cell phone was going off in my purse, but I ignored it.
After five minutes, it went off again. Suddenly I remembered that my mother’s tests were being done after receiving blood transfusions to bring up her iron levels.
I listened to my sister’s words. My blood ran cold.
My mom has colon cancer.
But the doctor said it was contained and they would schedule surgery within the next few days to remove it. As my heart raced, I began mentally to plan my trip to be with her during the surgery.
The next hours were a blur of trying to find a reasonable flight, communicating with my husband who was at work, and informing all my kids.
Then the second call came – this time from my brother. The CT scan revealed the cancer had spread to her liver and lymph nodes. My mom has cancer and it is Stage 4.
The oncologist met with her and my siblings and said they could not remove the cancer after all because it was so spread. But they could stop the cancer’s growth with chemo which, if she agreed, would be started in a week’s time, in increments of 48 hours every two weeks for four treatments.
My mom agreed to the chemo.
I didn’t have to rush down to her side since there would be no surgery, so I planned to fly down a week later to be with her for the first chemo treatment. (I am in Wisconsin and she is in Georgia living with my sister and just 15 minutes away from my brother. I have another sister in South Carolina.)
Have you ever had someone close to you be diagnosed with cancer?
If so, you might have walked around in a daze like I did. You try to function in your work, but you feel like a robot – not really able to put your whole self into it.
When you have someone that you love so intensely, you begin to believe that they will be there forever for you. To think of my mom actually being mortal – and someday leaving this earth – was more than I could bear.
Of course, that thought is ridiculous. We will all eventually die.
My mom is 83 years old and she has lived a wonderful life – blessing other people every single day with her prayers and interest and loving care for everyone.
While talking with the oncologist during that first appointment with him, he gave her the prognosis. He gently said, “If your body responds well to the chemo, then you probably will live another 2 years.”
“But if your body doesn’t respond to the chemo or you choose not to take the chemo, I would say you probably have about six more months to live.”
When my brother told me that, I began to cry. My mind screamed NO – I don’t want my mother to die. I love her so much. She is my angel. When my father deserted our family when I was young, my mother gave up everything to provide for the four of us kids. She would go without new shoes so that I could have new shoes. I remember her always sacrificing for us.
But as I cried out to God, He spoke to my spirit in that still, small voice. He reminded me that He has already planned every day of my mother’s life and when He calls her home, it won’t be one day before He is finished with her on this earth. And no human knows that day!
Job 14: 5 says “A person’s days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed.” NIV
That knowledge comforted me and I was reminded that God is still in control.
Whether God calls her home in 2 months or 2 years or 12 years, I know that she is ready to meet her Maker face to face.
And I thank God that He gave me time to make peace with her home-going before it actually happens.
Life on earth is temporary.
That is why it is so important to communicate your love regularly because you never know when there will be no more opportunities to do so.
Hug someone you love today and every day!
Author Bio: Amy Hagerup is mother to five and Nana to 12. Amy and her family spent 23 years as missionaries in Africa where they also adopted two orphans. Amy blogs about Healthy Christian Living at http://AmyHagerup.com