Cancer Survivor

“M” Is For The Many Things She Gave Me…

Lenya and her mother, Nathan’s wedding

Mothers have the magnificent ability to change hurt into hope, especially my own mother. From the moment she heard that something was wrong with my tummy she began planning ways to make it all better. Mikey, the nickname her father gave to her, arrived in Albuquerque three days before my surgery. This morning she departed, after willing me back to wellness and working tirelessly so that my convalescence was comfortable. She also returns with good news. The pathology report came back yesterday. My lymphs, omentum, and estrogen and progesterone uptake systems are all clear. The tumor remained intact, adhering to but not invading into the colon. Yes, I’ll need chemo, but largely as a precautionary measure. Stage 1 cancer is the best worst news a girl could get.

Believe it or not my mom spent all six nights sleeping on a tiny, tough fold-out mattress beside my hospital bed. In the night, we reminisced like school girls–she held my hand to ease the pain, and served as bull dog to keep visitors to a minimum and nurses attentive. The key to a quick recovery? Bring your mother to the hospital! They’ll even taste test the food, which is notoriously worse than airplane fare. She lost six pounds trying to stomach the stuff.

Upon arriving home, she did all the heavy lifting: changing sheets, cooking, cleaning, and keeping up with my new health regiment. We laughed and cried; watched movies and made necklaces; and walked up and down my street for much needed exercise. No one can field phone calls, flower deliveries, or meals like a mom. Don’t get me started with her recipes. The Swedish apple pancakes that she calls “Dutchies” are to die for. Chicken Wellington wrapped in puffed pastry, simply divine.

So today, I move into the next phase of recovery. Flying solo. I’ll admit it, I’m going to cry. Cry because I’ll miss her. Cry because I’m so blessed to have a mother like her in the first place. And cry because the Lord knew what I needed before I was even born. And when I’m done crying, I’ll rejoice for the woman she’s raised me to be and hope that I love as deeply and sacrificially as she does.

Here’s the song of homage she sang to her mother and I now I serenaded it back to her:
M is for the Many things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing Old.
T is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H is for her Heart of purest gold.
E is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R means Right and Right she’ll always be.

Put them all together, They spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me.


16 thoughts on ““M” Is For The Many Things She Gave Me…

  1. FYI I'm crying at work like a baby tough blog to read thankful for your mom – but I'm thrilled to death that report came back clear!! Yippee and the tumor remained intact and will continue to pray for the process of chemo. All my love and prayers! Yvette 🙂

  2. Beautiful post Lenya.What a blessing to have such a wonderful mother! I'll be praying for your first day of recovery with her absent.Rejoicing with you regarding the pathology results!! 🙂

  3. Thank you Jesus!! What a wonderful report:) I loved your tender tribute to your mama..yesss it made me teary- so sweet. The part where you reflect that the Lord knew what you needed ( even in a mother )before you were even born, really made me see God's gracious hand in your life and also in mine. Such a wonderful, loving God:)Keep being strong and courageous, girlfriend, because our Lord is with you!(His fingerprints are all over your life!!!) Much love, Paige

  4. Hi Lenya, yes, I agree with the sentiments of all the previous replies about your gift of conveying words, the gift and recognition of your stong & loving Mother, and the good news of the lab reports.Reading about how your Mother was always there for you and then her departure really had me in tears too. You see, on March 13, 2005 (as a former professional Thoroughbred Jockey) I was involved in a riding accident where the 2 yr. old filly I was on when through the outside rail of the turf course to get back to the dirt course, thereby catapulting me into the very large 3/4 pole at 44 mile per hour.I went from technicolor to pitch black and communed with the Lord. It was made known to me that "this was really bad, this really hurts, that life was over (which I surrendered to willfully) but then it was made known to me that I had to finish taking care of my Mother," who I'd left Santa Fe & moved to Flordia to care for. Even God cared about my Mom's wellbeing. Wow.The catalog of my injuries was extensive to say the least. I had 8 doctors and 3 surgeries over a 10 mth. period, and per the Workers' Comp. schedule of fees, it cost over $200,000 to put me back together again. My left medial ankle was wired & pinned, the tibia broken, a 3.5 cm sq. lateral osteochondral lesion, a torn LCL, PCL, 10"x6" lateral hematoma on the left thigh, 7 broken teeth, concussion, migraine syndrome, vertigo, brain stem injury, brain trauma, 2 herniated disks at C5-6 & C6-7 were impinging upon my spinal cord causing partial permanent paralysis in both arms and both legs, as was a herniation at L2-3 and bulging disks at L3-4 & L4-5. I had to have a 2 disc, anterior discectomy fusion with 2 pieces of cadaver bone, 2 plates and 8 screws. The Vax-D lumbar traction for 1 month, body & limb braces, tears of the Periformis, Quadratus Lumborum, & Gluteus Medius, TMJ disorder, inflamed upper right Trapezius, right shoulder damage to the scapula & rotator cuff, nerve damage to the right elbow, Chronic pain to the occiput, adverse reactions to the pharmaceuticals, vocational dysfunction, etc.At 78 yrs. old, my Mother assumed the role of nurse-maid in helping me relearn how to walk & talk once again. Her very presence gave me the cause I needed to fight the battle before me. All this to say that from the moment of impact to now, 4 yrs. later, the Lord has never abandoned me or let me go. I have gained a deeper, closer relationship with Him as a result of my utmost, moment by moment, complete surrender to Him. He sustained me, my Mom, our household bills and farm animals by giving us our daily bread alone. He met our needs, not greeds.14 months after my accident my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and two months later, she passed on. It took me 2 solid years before I could mention my Mom again, without completely breaking down in tears. Reading your story has reignited that precious friendship that my Mom and I shared and her undying, selfless love and protection that she displayed throughout our lives in protecting her "chicks." Even up until the last breath she took, her final act conveyed a loving message specifically directed to me. My Mom nursed me through my 1 yr. of recovery and then it was my turn to help her exit this temporal realm and enter into the joy of the Lord. I miss her greatly.But my greatest lesson learned throughout this journey of suffering has been that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed be the Name of the Lord, no matter what! I look forward to that day when I too will be at the feet of Jesus and even see my Mom again.Thanks for sharing yourself Lenya, and thanks for the Scriptural reminder for all of us to be thankful in all things (Phil. 4:4-9).

  5. So happy to hear!!! Praise God. His is worthy to be praised. Thanks for keeping us up to date Lenya. We are praying for you in Washington! Love you Renee & Mike

  6. Praise our good God! All over the city and around the world, your brothers and sisters have been prayer for you! Friends have come up to me who know that I go to Calvary and have said, "we're praying for Lenya." We all love you so much! I am just thrilled and rejoicing in your complete recovery and the love of our Father!Love, Teresa

  7. Lenya, I have been praying for you since the news was posted. You are truly, truly blessed. I love what you shared about your mom. What an awesome woman! I cried tears of happiness at reading just how wonderful your mother is. God bless you and Pastor Skip, and your mom. Get well soon.

  8. Hi Lenya,What a beautiful tribute to your precious mom! God is so good and faithful to bring us who and what we need during our times of affliction! We are praying for you daily! You are loved and appreciated by so many!God Bless you!Doug and Mary Martin

  9. We are thankful that the Lord has answered our prayers and so thrilled with the good diagnosis. We will continue to pray for the next stage in this journey. Thanks for keeping us up to date, I have been checking your blog daily. Please let the Women@Calvary know how we can stand in the gap left by your mom. love you so very much – Cara and Dan Flynn

  10. What a wonderful message. We have been praying for you and will continue praying. Please know that you are a tremendous blessing to the body of Christ. Your testimony stands strong for the power of prayer and your faith. Skip and you are loved by us all.BlessingsSam and Rhoda WinderEphesians 3:20-21

  11. We rejoice with you on the excellant report!May God continue to bless you as you recover, and please continue the updates–it is inspiring to read all that the Lord is doing in your life…we love you and Skip..Catherine and Avi Fuerst

  12. Hi Lenya, I've been praying for you along with the countless others. It must sound like a beautiful chorus to HIS ears. I think about you and Skip often and will continue top pray you through the "Chemo" phase, for comfort and minimal side effects. I love you both. GOD's Peace and comfort to you, fReD

  13. Whew! I just read this blog, Lenya, and it's a tear jerker, yet beautiful. Your mother is a saint! How lucky you are to still have her on this earth. I hope you're doing okay now that she's gone home. She will return!I lost my Godly Mother at age 33, in 1987. Brain Cancer. I still remember the last time we spoke on the telephone. We were living in Southern, CA at the time and she was 1500 miles away. Mother said "leave my kids, never". But, God had His reasons for calling her home when he did. Just over 2 years after losing her, we lost my brother. I don't think she could have handled losing a child. I'll miss her always and during times of trials, I automatically call out "mother"…she's resting until the resurrection morn' and we will meet again.There is nothing like a mothers love for her children. I only hope I'm half the mom to my daughters as she was to me. I'm sending love and blessings to you today.

  14. you are such a sweet, kind hearted person i could not stop balling like a baby reading this beautiful tributei am so thankful she was able to be there for you and love you love you rick and linda

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