Harvest is an extremely busy time for all farmers. This harvest was no exception. But this harvest I had an additional unexpected situation to deal with. Purposely, I chose not to share this experience until now.
My mother was diagnosed with anal cancer right before we started our fall harvest. She was scheduled to have chemo and radiation treatments at about the same time harvest started. It honestly could not have happened at a worst time. She would need daily trips of cancer treatment and doctor visits to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, which is about a two-hour trip one way. This would last for five weeks.
Friends and family stepped up and offered rides, but with this type of cancer treatment, side effects get progressively worse each week. We didn’t feel comfortable asking acquaintances to help out because each week would be worst than the week before. It was harder to make these trips because she became more uncomfortable, more weak and needed more assistance.
But the good news is: She will have her last treatment today! And then, thank GOD, she can start to heal. We know it will be a couple of weeks before she starts to see and feel the healing, but at least, she is moving in the right direction.
When she received the cancer diagnosis, I felt all sorts of emotions. Anger (and lots of it, some of what was misdirected), anguish, guilt, frustration, fear, being overwhelmed and sadness was just the start. So how does one proceed with the hours required for harvest and also deal with the emotions and logistics of starting the cancer treatment process of a very sick parent?
We prayed and pushed forward and just did it. God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle but I know he pushes the envelope. With all we went through and for anyone else experiencing the same thing there is help. There are great online resources available to help anyone who is caring for an elderly and ill parent.
I am so thankful for my siblings and other friends and family who helped. Also to my husband and immediate family who let me cry, scream, and vent, which I did often. It’s very difficult to watch your mother cry in pain. I thank GOD everyday for allowing us to get through this. She has a long way to go but at least the healing can start for all of us.
Cancer is terrible. There is no other way to describe it. It was not fair for her and it was not fair for us. I wish I could say the cancer treatment went better than I thought but I can’t. It was awful.
So what is the lesson?
Even when you are overwhelmed about a situation, even as terrible as cancer, you will get through it. You will get the work done. God makes it happen. And look for the positives in the experience – there will be some. And find laughter, even if it is a seemingly tiny thing.
Has anyone else went through a similar experience? I would love to hear your story.