Nobody…

1849-Safety pins were patented by Walter Hunt

1912-RMS Titanic sets sail from Southhampton for her maiden and final voyage

1925-Scribners publishes “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald

1970-Paul McCartney officially announce the split of the Beatles

Many monumental things have happened around the world on April 10th but of course there are too many for me to list here and you would get bored reading them all. I tried to pull out a few that might be big enough events that people remembered them. How many of us use safety pins or have read “The Great Gatsby?” I imagine most all of us were not here when Titanic went down but we all know what people are talking about just like the Beatles splitting up.

I am a nobody and I had a nobody family. My husband and daughters were nobodies. We were not a TV icon or major recording group. In my little world of being a nobody something major and life changing happened on April 10th. It would change my nobody world forever. April 10th set off a series of events that would drastically change my nobody life and world into something I never wanted.

“April 10, 2008, began like any other day except I woke up very early. Little did I know that today would be one of the longest days of my life. I thought I knew in my mind what the afternoon held for Heather and me. It was our first visit to see Dr. Fastenberg, and I was prepared for him to tell us that he didn’t know exactly what kind of cancer she had and more testing was needed. Then he would give us a testing schedule for a bone marrow biopsy, possibly the removal of a lymph node, CT scan, MRI, and more blood work. I told everyone we would not really know much and even told Bill to go to work. There was no need for him to come with us because it never happened that you can get a full diagnosis from a needle biopsy.”

“Dr. Fastenberg looked right at Heather and me as he told us that as of this moment, she was in a fight for her life. She was no longer a student or worked a job; she had to check out of her life until treatments were over. The world for me began to spin, and I felt I could not get air into my lungs. He had given her the diagnosis of stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It did not matter whether she had leukemia or lymphoma because they both are very aggressive, fast-moving cancers and the treatment was the same. She was in very serious condition and needed treatments to begin as soon as possible. He asked me when we could check into the hospital, and I sneered as I told him maybe Monday would be good. This was Thursday and that would give us the weekend to get things in order. He looked right at me and told me it could not wait; she needed to be admitted tonight, right away, this could not wait any longer. Heather was in shock and did not hear anything after he said aggressive, fast-moving cancer; she just sat sobbing. I sat listening as I began to have tunnel vision; there was ringing in my ears. Did someone suck all the oxygen out of the room? Were the lights going out? Could I be passing out from shock? I could hear Dr. Fastenberg talking, and I was trying desperately to stay conscious and comprehend what he was saying—four rounds, eight parts, eight spinal chemos, six months, blood transfusions, long hospital stays, blood levels, remission, bone marrow transplant, aggressive, maintenance for two years— and on and on with words and terms I had never dreamed of before.” From my book, My Porcelain Doll

April 10th forever became known as cancer diagnosis day and it changed my innocent nobody world. April 10th began the kick off point to something I never imagined would happen to me in my lifetime. My nobody daughter had cancer and not just any cancer, very aggressive cancer. I had prepared myself that day that Heather was going to die, she was that sick. April 10th when Heather and I moved into the hospital for the next 8 days, we planned all sorts of things; we wanted to write a book, plan events to celebrate and end this cancer and never look back.

We know that cancer went into remission and didn’t come back. Our nobody family had several fun events like meeting Amy Grant, the Grand Survivor Ball, Disneyland for her 21st and the birth of baby Snooks-Violet. We nobodies thought life was really good. I had no clue that we would spend the 1st anniversary of cancer diagnosis in ICU with Heather fighting for her life.

My nobody life would soon become one of dealing with intolerance, pettiness and down right rudeness. I have written 2 books, have a Facebook page with almost 3300 followers that are grieving too, and have become very outspoken against stupid people towards grieving mothers. I was a nobody but I am forever Heather’s Momy and I will never allow her memory to die to make her a nobody.

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