This is a hard post to write. Even before I begin to write it I know it will make very mad and very sad. It was a hard decision to write this because my Mom was a private person but I also think that if this has a chance of helping one person she would want me to write it.
When my Mom found out she had breast cancer she was married to her second husband, My mother being the southern belle that she was led everyone to believe that her marriage was just fine. That’s how things were with my Mom. I would find out after the fact her husband was emotionally abusive, jealous and cruel. He was VERY critical of my mom, would give her a hard time about communicating with my brother and myself, isolated her from her friends and I think that there was even more abuses than she told me.
Mom also had a strong streak of vanity running through her. Rarely did we ever see her without make-up or disheveled in any way. As I said she was a Southern belle. This combination of her vanity and her knowing the reaction that she would receive from her second husband would lead to a tragic decision.
When Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer her oncologist went over the treatments that were available. The oncologist wanted Mom to have a mastectomy. She assured my Mother that would be the best course of treatment and through that surgery she would have the best results. Mom chose instead to get a lumpectomy. She knew that if she had her breast removed her marriage would end. See this guy was that much of a jerk. He was very controlling and made it clear that he found the idea of a breast being removed appalling. It didn’t matter to him that the surgery would save her life. While Mom was coming out of surgery he was playing tennis, When she came home from the hospital bandaged and in pain he told her he hoped she enjoyed the rest during her hospital stay because the house was a mess. This actually makes me laugh because my mom’s house was NEVER a mess. So here she is just home from the hospital vacuuming and cleaning. I am sure that there is much more to this but it was tough for her to even tell me the scantest details.
The good thing is his cruelness turned on a light and Mom made the decision to leave. The sad thing is according to her oncologist if she had the recommended mastectomy her cancer probably would not have returned and killed her.
My Mom was loving, kind, smart generous and beautiful always giving more than she got. She worked as an administrator in an assisted living facility and loved her job because she was able to take care of her residents. I know that some of you will say that her decision was her decision and she should have ignored this guy. Your right, but the reality is we all allow our relationships to influence us. My mother was raised to be a lady, to hold your secrets close and the husband writes the law of the marriage. Often we make decisions based on another’s input, especially our spouses.
Terribly sad. If you find yourself in a situation where you are prepared to make decision that you know is wrong for the sake of not rocking the boat or to spare someone else’s feelings…go with your gut. You only have one life and your decisions are yours only. Some decisions can effect the course of your life and they should be yours. If your partner does not support you in living the best life that you can…well, maybe you should decide to do something about that.
You only have one life.
In Memory of my Mom, Ann Brooks