Looking back at 2020, Whew I Need a Rest

I haven’t posted much in awhile. I apologize. But I needed a rest and needed to rejuvenate my soul. So much has happened this year. I know I am not the only person that 2020 has hit like a mack truck.

January 2020

My Mom was diagnosed with throat cancer. The dreaded “C” word. The tumor could actually be seen in November of 2019. So I cannot give 2020 the credit for creating this situation. I actually give 2020 kudos for bringing my mom though all the treatments and bringing her to a cancer free diagnosis. But it all took a toll on my whole family. She has a tumor on the side of her neck the size of a golf ball in November. By January it is the size of an apple.

February 2020

Mom has exploratory surgery but the tumor cannot be removed. It has to be treated with primarily radiation. They add chemotherapy as a double dose of whammy. She has to have all her bottom teeth removed because the radiation will make removal later almost impossible. I think because the teeth bond to the jaw bone during radiation. Don’t quote me on that but that is what I understood. Again the tumor is growing, about the size of a large orange now.

March 2020

Mom begins her treatments. She is in so much pain because the tumor is growing so fast. It causes her to have terrible excruciating headaches. She holds ice to her head. I want to cry. I pray everyday, all day. She has absolutely WONDERFUL doctors. I can’t sing their praises loud enough. She almost cannot answer questions because the pain medicine and pain scatters her thoughts and focus. I take her to all her appointments. I take her Mondays and Tuesdays to radiation. Tuesdays, she has both radiation and chemo. My stepdad Joe takes her the rest of the week to radiation. We are living day to day. After about 2 and a half weeks there is a NOTICEABLE difference in the size of her tumor.

April 2020

The Pandemic hits USA hard. We cannot go in with Mom for her appointments. I could still go to the chemotherapy appointment but not into the lab. She was still in so much pain she couldn’t answer questions or find all the rooms on all the floors. They take our temperature before they let us in the buildings.

May 2020

Mom is feeling better but with side affects. She doesn’t want to eat much. Her skin on her neck is blood red. She doesn’t sleep well. Joe helps her take her medicine properly.

June 2020

Now we wait the allowed time for some of the chemo to get out of her system so she can take another PET scan.

I ask Mom if she wants to make some porch leaners for me. We made some with the word “Welcome” on them. I think that was the first craft item she had made in a long, long time. She said really missed doing arts and crafts. So I asked her if she wanted to make more and she said yes. I would look up cute things to make and we would work on them together or she would take a picture and run with it. Joe was so so happy that she was happy. He said the crafts were doing her a world of good. They were taking her mind off the worry of cancer.

July 2020

At the end of this month, she takes her PET scan. We wait another week for results. The chemotherapy doctor gives us the good news. There is no sign of cancer. Mom breaks down and cries for happiness and relief in the office.


August 2020

Joe passes away before he can have his heart surgery. It was two-three days before one of the hurricanes was due to hit us here in Louisiana. Joe said the night he passed away, that he didn’t know if he could handle another hurricane. (Hurricane Harvey caused Mom and Joe to lose their home in Texas due to the Rivers flooding.)

September 2020

One of the hardest months of my life. Seeing my Mom devastated by Joe’s sudden death made me feel helpless. My husband, Paul, really helped Mom and I with all the many things we had to take care of when someone passes away. We didn’t have a funeral for Joe because of COVID 19. We hope to have a memorial on the one year anniversary in 2021. All his relatives were too ill to fly or drive in. Our family lives in Texas and they couldn’t make it either. It was such a sad situation for this to happen during this pandemic. I asked Mom if she still wanted to live alone in her and Joe’s house. I suggested we move her to a little house on our property. She broke down and cried and said she would love that.

October 2020

October 17th, moving day for the little house. Our offices were about 5 miles away from our house right off the interstate. We had been wanting to downsize due to the pandemic and move them onto our land. We had two metal office buildings. Now one serves as our office up front near the road by our house. The larger one serves as my Mom’s little house in the back near the ponds. It took awhile to get electricity, plumbing, etc.

November 2020

Mom and I painted everything white. That brightened up the little space. Paul had people put in some walls for a little bedroom and a shower in the bathroom. Paul and Mom worked on the kitchen cabinets and the floors. The grandkids even helped with the floors. Mom and I painted the kitchen cabinets white. After that Mom did most of the finishing work. I helped her as much as I could. She is awesome at trim and moulding. We put up a backsplash and finished out the kitchen window. Paul finishes the last minute plumbing and when the weather finally cooperated, we moved some of her belongings over to the little house.

December 2020

December 5th, Mom moves in. She seems to really like it. It is looking more and more like home to her. I am so happy she is here with me. I love having her very near.

More news struck.

My mother-in-law is very ill. She has Alzhiemers’s and Dementia. We are all worried that her time is near.

Update: MaMa Regina passed away on New Year’s Eve 2020. Her Rosary was on January 1, 2021 and her funeral was on January 2, 2021.

I need a rest, but as you can see, my Mom really needs one. She seems to be happy in her new little house surrounded by all her special belongings and her outside plants. She is feeding the birds and still doing crafts.

I know that I am not alone in wishing 2021 will be 100 times better than 2020. One good thing came from 2020 and that was the news that the pet scan showed no more cancer for my Mom. Please pray for us that this continues to be the case. God Bless you for reading my blog. This was a serious and difficult subject for me to share. But if this story helps just one person with their current situation then it will be worth it for me. Please leave comments if you too had a difficult year.

Thank you for reading my blog!! It means a lot to me!

Crafting, Painting and Creating is Great Therapy!!

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