This is not something I talk about much because…emotional. I shaved my head recently and then saw a pic of my mom posted from a recent family get-together which prompted me to create this collage.
A bit over 10yrs ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to have a partial mastectomy and suffer through months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, hospitalization and hair loss. She fought…and won!! The cancer went into remission.
Unfortunately, about a year ago, my mom’s breast cancer returned. She had a medical incident that presented in symptoms that mirrored a stroke. I remember the call from my aunt (a nurse by trade) telling me that they were at the hospital (my dad and both of her sisters were with her). The breast cancer had come back and metastasized to her groin, abdomen and brain.
The cancer and the treatment have intensely changed my perspective of our relationship. My mother has always been strong, active, vital; she’s always been the caregiver. Seeing her weakened by the treatments, unable to eat and losing weight, unable to get up and move around unassisted has been difficult for me. I think it’s been particularly hard since we live in different parts of the state so I can’t be there everyday. Add to that, worrying about my dad who is older and not in the best of health and being unexpectedly thrust into a role as primary caregiver; it’s a lot for us all.
In the midst of it all, the picture of my mom didn’t make me think about all the changes in our lives, the treatments and the care. All I could think of is how much I love my mom’s face. I love all of the ways my face resembles hers. I think of all the lessons she’s given me to prepare me for life. I think of how much I love her and want her to feel as cared for and loved by others as she has made others feel; she deserves that.
The cancer is not gone but she’s on the mend. Treatments are done, tumors are shrinking and she’s regained some of her strength but she still has a long way to go to recovery but she’s here and I am thankful for everyday God blesses us with.
I meant to write this post a couple of days ago but life happens. Happy 29th anniversary (March 23rd) to my parents; Tom & Judy. What do you say about the most awesome parents ever? Not much but you do post some epic pics of them with some clever or cute blurbs. My dad doesn’t smile in most pics but all of these pics show his “happy face”. Seriously though, they have been an amazing example of what love can be. Through the good, the bad and the in between, they have stood strong…together.
Back in the day when they were two young hottie’s just kickin’ it.
All dressed up for some event or another. They’re pretty adorable.
All dressed up on my wedding day. The shenanigans of that day were epic!
I try to do these at the end of the month as a reminder to be thankful and take time to find the blessings in my day-to-day life. I was in the hospital so I’m a little bit late. Better late than never, right? January was a pretty good month and a great beginning to 2015.
1.) My baby girl turned 24 on Jan. 23rd.
2.) My wife…just because she’s awesome
3.) A good cup of coffee. I’ve found a new appreciation for my morning cup. My afternoon cup. And sometimes, my night time cup.
4.) My fur baby, Hayley. She keeps me company during the day.
5.) Dancing out the stress. There is nothing I enjoy more than cranking up some music and gettin’ down with my bad self. My go to jam…Electric Lady by Janelle Monaé
6.) Inspiration in book form. This book allows me to study my bible and get inspired using stories that ‘real’ women can relate to.
My parents! God blessed me with two wonderful parents. They love me without condition. They are my constant in an ever changing world. They are funny and genuine and have always been a great example of love and friendship. Tom & Judy Mustin, I am so thankful for you.
What a fantastic weekend! It was the weekend of the 66th Annual Golden Gloves in Tacoma. I sang the Canadian & U.S. National Anthem for both nights of the event.
I also got to see my sister, my niece & nephews and my cousin.
I also got to spend some time with my parents for their birthday weekend…Dad (Feb 27th) & Mom (Mar 2nd).
I had my first trip to IKEA. That was pure insanity! It was worse than Costco on a Saturday during Christmas. I loved the deals they had but online is the way to go with them.
We had a harrowing trip home through snow, ice and multi-vehicle accidents. It definitely got the heart racing.
Now, we are home on our bed and on our way to dream land.
I am a few days behind but this has been a busy few days. At any rate, here we go!
1.) My mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Some days are harder than others but I am here and every day I’m blessed to see is another opportunity to be better.
2.) Tomi – If I could have created my perfect mate, I couldn’t have done better. She is honest, supportive and loves me just the way I am.
3.) Ideal Protein – down 11.6 in two weeks; just the boost I need on my weight loss journey.
4.) Veronica, Michelle, Jay, Keely, JaLisa; my children in order from oldest to youngest. JaLisa is the only one I gave birth to but the others know “Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone. Nevertheless, still my own.”
5.) Employment – I am so thankful for a job that I love with co-workers that don’t get on my nerves most days.
6.) Music – I have an ever-changing playlist for every aspect of my life. If my life were a movie, everyone would want the soundtrack.
7.) Books – Whether or not it’s my nook or an ink-to-paper book from the library; I appreciate the distraction.
I started the feature “10 Things I’m Loving Right Now” when I first started blogging. The idea was to do the feature once a month on the last day of the month to remind myself that no matter how bad things seem I had at least 10 things to be thankful for; by the end of the year 100+ things (in case I miss a month or two). Well life happened and I kind of fell off but I am recommitting to it for the year 2014.
2013 has definitely been full of ups and downs for my family and I but I’m thankful to have made it through to the end and if God allows it, I will wake up in a new year. I thought it would be fitting to end this year with 10 things that I loved about 2013 so here we go…
10.) I am employed and I love my job and my coworkers; most of the time.
9.) I am blessed to have a roof over my head, a car to drive and money in the bank to pay my bills.
8.) I have wonderful and supportive friends and family; and friends that are like family.
7.) Music, poetry, crafting.
6.) I read a lot of good books
5.) Struggles-they help to remind me of my blessings
4.) Being mom to 5 wonderful children.
3.) Having both my parents; living and healthy.
2.) Tomi as my wife; legally.
1.) God has allowed me to see another year. Goodbye 2013!
Our children have two moms and no matter what opinion anyone has about that fact, our children know they have two parents that love them no matter what. Between Tomi & I we have a small tribe. There’s about 5….or 6; I lost count a while ago.
Anyway, all of our children are grown; some with children of their own. The youngest, JaLisa, just turned 20. It is her sense of humor and creativity in describing her parents that brought about this story.
The two oldest girls call me Stankie (long story for another time). The boy calls me JaVonja. One of the baby girls calls me JaBonna or JaBonBon and the youngest calls me Mom. I consider these to be terms of endearment; names that they use to let the world know that I belong to them and they belong to me.
On a recent visit to Tacoma to visit my parents, JaLisa relayed to me that she was having a conversation with one of her friends about Tomi and I. “My mom & Tomi” this and “My mom & Tomi” that. Her friend asked “Who’s Tomi?” to which JaLisa replied “You know how I told you my mom is a lesbian? Well Tomi is my dad/mom.” I was at a loss for words which doesn’t happen very often. “JaLisa, what the hell is a dad/mom?” “Well,” she says “I have my mom who does mom stuff and then I have my dad/mom. You know, the one who carries the heavy stuff.” I laughed so hard that I almost tinkled. Tomi now has her own term of endearment that is unique to her to go along with the others. She is now known as Mom, Mama and Dad/Mom and she wears them all proudly.