How do I even begin to describe the past few weeks?
My mom underwent a partial mastectomy on October 22nd and it did not go as planned, to say the very least. I knew something was off when the surgeon and the anesthesiologist came into the waiting room to talk to me. Despite all of the pre-op cardiologist visits, tests, and precautions taken, my mom’s pacemaker stopped working during the surgery. They had to administer five chest compressions before her pulse came back. I just remember staring blankly at them as my brain tried to process what they said. When I was allowed to see my mom in the recovery area, she was incredibly pale and disoriented from the anesthesia. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I almost lost her that day.
It’s still hard to cope with everything going on, but I am so grateful that my mom is doing better. The doctors were able to remove most of the cancer and she will have a handful of radiation therapy treatments, but no chemotherapy. She’s still recovering from the traumatic brain injury and she’s not the same woman she was this time last year, but the important thing is that she’s here.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. The shamash spreads the light over the eight nights and reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there is always a flicker of hope.
This year has been difficult and scary, but it has had its bright and happy moments.
I’ve learned that I’m much stronger emotionally than I give myself credit for.
My relationship with my mom has deepened and grown stronger.
I learned how to ask for and accept help.
My community showed me that I can lean on them for support and trust that they won’t let me fall.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but I’m just happy that my mom and I have made it to this point.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Chag urim sameach!