I never planned on being a sick mom. I focused on health and wellness my whole life. Healthy eating and exercise has always been my priorities. I used organic cleaning products, meditated and used acupuncture for healing. I couldn’t understand why I was always feeling ill. I usually blamed it on lack of sleep from having two little ones or the fact that I was breastfeeding for 2 years. After going through 4 rounds of fertility and not getting pregnant I started to get sicker. It seemed like every 2 weeks I would get a bad case of a 24 hour flu bug. I would be in pain and then sick. It would take about a week to recover. This started in October. By January and after many trips to urgent care to make sure that I was okay a doctor finally recommended a full work up. All my labs were off and I was having so much shoulder pain. I started on double the dose of my daily vitamins and added some organic high nutrient juices to my diet. I started daily yoga but I just continued to feel worse.
A week after Ian’s birthday in March, I started having the stomach pains that would come every couple of weeks that would lead to me being sick. This time I felt like my stomach exploded internally. I was alone at our home with Penna. I was truly scared for the first time in my life. I was laying on the floor screaming in pain. My baby Penna was just 2 years old, standing over me. I begged her to get the phone. I felt like I was passing out. I called Ian with the strength I had and cried into the phone. I couldn’t say much but he knew he had to call for help. He hung up and called 911 for me and I dialed my mothers number. I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was being stabbed a thousand times in my stomach. The last thing I remember was my mom asking Penna where I was. I was laying on the floor.
I started to wake up about the time the ambulance arrived. My niece was there with Penna and I was able to move. The pain was going away. I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks and drained of energy. The EMTs checked me out and suggested that I get a scan to make sure my appendix didn’t rupture.
The next day I went in for a cat-scan. I was feeling a little better. I had a full abdominal scan. I figured it was probably nothing major. Maybe some strange bacterial thing that I caught from the children. That evening I got a phone call. The doctor asked me if it was okay to have this discussion over the phone. My heart sank. I felt doom in that moment. It was very surreal. I could hear what he was saying and the world around me was moving slowly. The girls were on the floor fighting over a doll and Ian on his phone texting. He said that I had 8 masses in my liver. He was concerned with my intestines and wanted to do additional studies. He said unfortunately during the scan they were able to see a part of the lungs and a mass was present there as well. I needed a scan of my lungs to investigate more. I heard what he was saying but all I could do was stair at my children. It felt like a nightmare. I didn’t know what was wrong but something wasn’t right. In that moment I realized my own mortality. I realized that if something happened to me that they may not even remember me. They were so young. They would only have pictures, and very few with me. I was never much of a writer. I never kept track of my life or advice for my children.
The doctor wanted me back the next day for more scans of my lungs then a biopsy in the hospital that week. I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up each night while waiting for results writing about myself. What I have done, what I believe in and what I hope for my girls. I wanted them to have a piece of me. I spent the week taking more pictures and dedicated more time to them. I put the phone away and joined in on more dance parties. I realized that in all of this family was all I needed.
I found out that there were for more masses in my lungs and I had to talk to Mia about going to the hospital for my biopsy. She was old enough and knew something was going on in our house. She knew I was sick a lot and talked about having a sick mom with her friends. I had to have a talk with her.
I tucked her into bed the night before my procedure. I asked her if she knew what was going on. She said that she knew I was sick. I told her that I was going to the hospital the next day, just like when I had Penna and that the doctors were going to try to find out why I was sick. I named everyone who was going to be there for her and told her that it wouldn’t be long until I came home. She started crying. Her little hand squeezed my hand and she looked me deep in the eyes. She said, “I’ll be okay momma, Cinderella’s mommy died and she was okay. She turned out to be a princess. I will be brave and kind. I will be okay too.”
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To start our Our Love Story from the beginning- Our Love Story- How we met