Always Joyful

Just shy of my mother’s 80th birthday, she was diagnosed with Peritoneal / Ovarian Cancer

Always Joyful

Diane Strong w Hilary & Caroline Purcell copy

Hilary’s mother Diane wearing a sweater with the word “Joyful,” a word that sums up exactly who she is, always joyful! 

Just shy of my mother’s 80th birthday, she was diagnosed with Peritoneal / Ovarian Cancer. Now we knew what was giving her such trouble but terrified that it was called cancer. We were led to an amazing oncologist who mapped out her road to recovery: 3 months chemo, tumor removal surgery and then 3 more months of chemo. My 3 siblings, many friends and I happily took on the task in caring for her and my father during this rocky time. We all were able to shoulder it together and for that I am eternally grateful.

Many prayers and support helped her to maintain the strength to get thru it but her amazingly positive attitude was the catalyst to her complete recovery. It was also helpful that her tumor was “nice” enough to respond to the chemo as well as be contained making it easy to remove. That was 3 years ago.

Six months ago, some pre-cancer symptoms appeared. A biopsy found an area in her stomach that carried these same cancer cells. She began a new round of chemo once a month. After two months, she was in need of surgery to repair several hernias and it was during that surgery that her oncologist was able to find remove this new tumor. Once again, she is cancer free!

We have learned that ovarian cancer is one that strikes and usually strikes again. We know that when it does reappear we are fortunate to live in a time where it can be treated successfully.

This whole “event” has brought our family closer together and showed us what really is most important in life ~ family, friends and faith! And, every day I thank the Lord for my amazing mother and her unconditional love and courage!

Hilary Purcell