Mom's Cancer Diagnosis and How Friends Can Help

Wednesday, October 31

What in the world do I title this post... I am so scattered and frazzled right now that it is just mean for blogger to try to force me to be creative. Life has once again turned into a roller coaster here, with a steep uphill climb ahead of us right now. 3 weeks ago my mom told me she had found a lump in her breast. Yesterday, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer on both sides. It has spread to the lymph nodes, although we won't know how far until after surgery. Today she will visit a surgeon to schedule a double mastectomy.

Aside from the factual information, I have no idea how to express what is going on in my brain right now. I am scared, I am sad, I am angry... BUT I also have hope. I have friends who have been praying us through, and sending messages of encouragement at just the perfect times. I didn't say much publicly in the beginning because we of course prayed it would be nothing. Now that we have a diagnosis, though... well it is time to spread the prayer circle. So, I am asking all of you to pray for my Mom, Candi (her name is Carren, but she goes by Candi always!). Pray for strength, encouragement and healing. Pray that God would be with all of us along this journey... mom, the family, the doctors and nurses, and anyone else who will be a part of her recovery. My mother-in-law told me last night that it seems to her that cancer is a whole family illness. I know that I for one am ready to fight it, but I also know that there will be times when I need a reminder of that.

Obviously we don't know the exact details of what all of this is going to look like. What we do know is that surgery is step one. Lots of people have asked how they can help, so here is what I have to suggest right now:
  • Meals are always a good place to start. I would like to have meals lined up for 2 weeks post-surgery for sure. Freezer meals are ideal... there are three (mostly) grown boys living with her so they can stick something in the oven or crock pot (I hope, haha). However, I can also arrange for hot meals to make it to her if someone wants to cook one night and I will pick it up.
  • Mom loves to read, especially mysteries. I know I contributed to a book collection for a friend when I lived in MO. Audio books would also be great. Or relaxing cds too! Mom loves Irish music and chanting.
  • Cards, especially funny ones, with notes of encouragement would be great. Mom loves to laugh, so I am thinking things like cartoons stuck in them would be good... but also handwritten prayers can be so encouraging when life is hard.
  • Surgery, and most likely future treatments, will take place in Lincoln which is a 30 minute drive each way. Gas cards would be helpful for this.
I will know more as we go of course, but these are the things I am thinking of right now. I know that some of you have been through this, and may have other ideas. I can't tell you enough how much your messages and prayers have meant to me so far! Honestly, that is one of the most powerful things you can do to help! If you decide you want to do something I can provide a mailing address by email.

And you know I can't do posts without photos... here is one of my favorite pics of my Mom and Annabelle:


  1. It goes without saying that prayers are with your Mom as well as you and family.

    That damned fear of the unknown, of what lies ahead, can be paralyzing, Brandon but don't allow it to steal your strength. Mom will need every bit of positive energy that you can give.

    Check out Cleaning for a Reason ( to see if there is any assistance available for Mom; I recommend it to many cancer patients I see at the salon.

    I will e-mail you for your address so that I can do something more than offer words.

    Blessings and much hope!

  2. My heart and prayers go out to you and family. My husband is in remission with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma complicated by heart problems. So I have a little idea of you pain. Of course no two experiences are the same.

  3. Branson, my heart goes out to you and your family! your momma looks like an amazing fighter! <3 What a beautiful photo to share with us! HUGS ... please take care! <3

  4. Will continue to pray. Love that photo of her and Annabelle.

  5. So sorry to hear Branson. My thoughts are with you and your mom. xo


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