So, there is nothing that can compare to the gut-punch like being told that your child has something so serious that they could die...nothing! Back in October of 2016, as Hayleigh, Keith, Rick and myself sat in a hospital cubicle awaiting results from the OBGYN on call in Emerg., I think we all had some inkling of what was about to happen. While the doctor explained that they could not definitively say that the "c" word was involved, there was a concern and an urgency to deal with what we were facing. The doctor ran words and phrases such as " total hysterectomy", "radiation", "inability to have children", "your appendix looks to be involved", and my mind went somewhere, anywhere but where I was. This was not happening to my child, my baby! This was some kind of cosmic joke! It had to be, and in proper Momma Bear fashion, I went over all the things I could do to stop this nonsense! In my head, it was total nonsense...again, this could not be happening to my child. My knowledge of anatomy and physiology and cancer told me a lot of different things. While I didn't finish the nursing course I had started post high school, I still retained a lot of knowledge and what I knew scared me! I wanted to run, I wanted to grab my baby girl and take her to a place where I could protect her and stop this insanity. But, the pragmatic part of me knew we were in this for the long-haul and there would be no running - there would be surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, etc. My sweet baby girl was going to have to go through this horrific ordeal - and while we would all be there, it was happening to her, not us. Watching your child deal with this kind of news with such grace, and yet be so concerned for how it was impacting the rest of us, was painful. The lack of control I, as her mother, felt is indescribable - I have always had control over so many things, but that was taken right out of my hands. This was her fight and all we could do was become caregivers, as she tried to out-maneuver this adversary. Compound this with getting the news that your other child - my oldest daughter (I only have two) who had also gone through her own life-threatening medical incident that resulted in the birth of our grandson (1 pound 9 ounces and 28 weeks gestation, compounded with a multitude of medical issues - cardiac, neurological, you name it) was also diagnosed with her own form of cancer (thyroid) in the following summer. To say the least, this leaves a parent feeling extremely numb! Scared doesn't quite describe it, and quite frankly, I don't know what does. Stephanie told me that at some point after her sister passed, I died too. I suppose it's not quite died, but rather escaped to a protective place where I can hide and avoid anything else that might happen. Just know, that I raised two pretty spectacular human beings - They are both my heros always and forever!