The Biggest Battle

      21 Comments on The Biggest Battle


The Battle at Gettysburg

The biggest battle ever fought on American Soil was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Last month we visited Gettysburg and I wrote about this gruesome battle. This week I’ll be writing about another battle. A different sort of battle.

Mom’s Biggest Battle

Mom is confronting a vicious beast: Pancreatic Cancer. This is the sort of battle which is lost before it even begins. There are no tests for early detection. For Mom, this is a battle against stage four pancreatic cancer. A battle I have now faced twice: Hali’s Dad, Our Mom.

This is our Mom. She has never spent a night in the hospital, up until a month ago. And that “first time,” was ten nights.

September 23rd was my Mom’s 80th birthday, and she was HOME. So we celebrated. We ate cake & ice cream. We met new and old friends. All wished Mom a Happy Birthday.

This is us: Michael, Lori, Vicki, David. We are Mom’s children. David passed away seven years ago.

Lori is a nurse. She’s had a career in dealing with cancer patients. She’s seen it all. Understands there is no good news here.

Vicki was here nearly six weeks. She was with Mom through the various tests, pokes, and procedures to keep us all current on Mom’s condition. Nothing was positive.

I am Michael. I do not like hospitals. Admittedly, I suffer from white coat syndrome. I had seen the pains of pancreatic cancer seventeen years ago, with Hali’s Dad. One of my strongest memories was how yellow Karl was when he was sick. Today, on Mom’s 80th birthday, her face was yellow. Mom doesn’t look good in yellow.

Pretty sure everyone that came in for a hug to wish her a Happy Birthday noticed Mom doesn’t look good in yellow either. Mom didn’t notice. These were her friends wishing her a Happy Birthday. She has lots of friends. It was a good day for Mom. From here on out there will be good days and bad days. Until there are no days left.

Our Battle

No, we didn’t lay down. We got together. The closest we’ve been together in years. We needed each other and had to make, what to this day will be the biggest decision in our lives.

Does Mom go on for further treatment?

The next night, while Mom was lucid, the four of us got together, close together. Talked. Talked about the nature of this beast, any procedures moving forward, and we talked about us. The four of us. What will soon be, the three of us. Mom was grateful for the unanimous decision. At peace.

When Mom got up the next morning at 5:30 to go swimming, I knew she was resolved. Life is good, just growing shorter.

The three of us will get closer, enjoy Mom for the next few weeks or so, be positive, and know that not only did we make a good decision, we made the right decision.

You see, for Mom, she never wanted it to be about her. She has comfort knowing that we understand that it needs to be about three of us: Lori, Michael, and Vicki.

Mom will be all right. She has many, many friends. AND, MOM BELIEVES!



About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.

21 thoughts on “The Biggest Battle

  1. Bill Pucel

    I am sorry to hear of her passing. I know she was with her family and all our prayers. Your mom was special. Cousin Bill

  2. michele

    How brave. While I’m welled with tears, I have deep appreciation for you sharing this with me. All my best for peaceful times.

  3. Byllie Epperson

    I am so sorry to hear that your family is going through this. I know it isn’t easy, but I also know your Mother is with the best people possible…you all seem to be such a strong and positive group. It is wonderful that you are able to be there with her to share this precious time. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. Audrey P Adams

    I am so sorry to hear this sad news. You are all so strong and loving — Bless you for being there for her! Pass along my love to all the family and check out my latest email! XOXO

  5. Sue Schmidt

    What a brave and gracious and lovely woman your Mom is and we love her dearly. It is an honor to know her. My love to all of you.

    1. Susanna Harrison

      Thank you for your honesty, Woody. I see beautiful kids and a mom who has much to be proud of. I imagine that she draws a lot of strength from that. Since I have been in England for a week now, I have visited, (sometimes unintentionally…) lots of places celebrating people whom have passed on. Where human history is so accessible and plentiful and recorded and documented, I am coming to a deeper understanding of how brief our visit to this world actually is. I am sorry for the decision your family has been forced to make. I am glad that your mom has such wonderful children to surround her at this time. Courage and love to you!

      1. Woody Post author

        You are very kind Susanna. I appreciate the reminder – and it gives me comfort – when I think of this in the terms of a “history”. A history, I am a part of.


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