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Wednesday, February 15, 2017


It's been a few weeks since I have been here.  A lot has happened and I just haven't felt like writing about our life here.  I do love our life here in The Netherlands.  But, my mind and my heart have been an ocean away back in the U.S. with my mom.  The day we returned from our holiday in Prague, I spoke with my parents and they were at the hospital.  My mom had a very swollen leg and upon doing a scan, found that she had two blood clots in her right leg.  The scan also revealed that she had nodules on her stomach, liver and pelvic areas.  The next few weeks were spent waiting on tests and doctor appointments until on Tuesday, January 24, it was officially determined that my mom has stage four uterine cancer.  It is a recurrence of endometrial cancer which was removed in 2012.  1 in 1000 women can have a recurrence of this type of cancer, and my mom is one of them.  Since it is stage 4, she will undergo chemotherapy, and continue that.  The cancer will not go into remission.  

This is not the first time cancer has struck our family.  My grandmother died in 2010 from ovarian cancer.  It was so painful to see all she went through to fight her cancer.  She fought until the very end, and Elizabeth is named after her.  My grandfather was diagnosed last year with cancer in the bile duct of his liver, and is no longer able to receive chemotherapy.  It has gotten to the point that the chemo would do more harm than good. Finding out they had cancer hurt.  But, somehow, finding out my mom has cancer has changed something in me that is hard to explain.  From now on, I will always look back at our life as before I found out my mom had cancer and after.  I have spent many moments wondering how this could have happened.  I have spent days being angry that doctors missed this.  I have wondered how my mom will respond to the chemo.  I have felt sad because at the time my dad is about to retire and they can really enjoy their lives, that this has happened.  I have cried because I just don't know how much time we have left.  But, I think the one thing I come back to is that I cannot imagine my life without her in it...

When those thoughts have become too overwhelming for me, I remember that there is still time, and there are still more memories to be made.  If anything, my mom has taught me to just keep going. She is not one to sit around and feel sorry for herself and I know she doesn't want me doing that either.  

We will be traveling back next week to see her and spend some time with our family in the US.  I am so looking forward to that...

I thought I would fill you in on some of the happenings here the last few weeks...

It snowed...

Mini snowball fight:)
It's been cold...
 And I have gotten over my fear of is too freakin' cold here in the mornings to ride bikes.  The kids and I agreed that when  it is 4 degrees celsius again in the mornings we will start riding our bikes again!:)
Elizabeth was the VIP in her room a few weeks ago!:)
 She is also getting ready to "Swim like a Dutchman" for her A diploma.:)

 Jeremy had his acting debut in the play "Olivia" performed by year 6!:)  He was George Bernard Shaw and memorized 48 lines!!!:)  He did a great job!!:)

 He also got to celebrate Canada day with his Canadian teacher.  They made lots and lots of pancakes!:)
 And Elizabeth got to celebrate Australia day with her Australian teacher.  Although she said that Vegemite wasn't all that great!:)
 Jeremy got to play his first indoor soccer game this past weekend and he is doing a great job as a defender!:)

 And of course, I had to add a few pictures from Valentine's Day yesterday.:)

I know, Elizabeth got the poop emoji for Valentine's...don't judge!  She really wanted it!:)

J made us a Valentine Card!:)
 And of course, Valentine's wouldn't be complete without Dutch tulips.:)
And I got tulips from Guy.:)
I realize that from now on life for me will feel different because it IS different.  It is so true what they say about cancer not only affecting the person who has it but the entire family.   I know that time is never certain, and we have to embrace the moments we have with the ones we love because we don't know when those last moments may be.  My heart has been broken these last few weeks, but I know it is not beyond repair.  As my mom says, "It is what it is."  Cancer is cancer and life is life, and life does not stop for cancer.  She has taught me that you have to keep going.  There is still a lot of living to do.:)