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here's the story | Celeste Smith

here's the story | Celeste Smith

12 x 12 | materials kit (One Little Bird & Sahlin Studio Worn at The Lilypad) + masks(Robyn Meierotto Cut It Out at Design House Digital) + stitching(Robyn Meierotto In Stitches Neutrals at Design House Digital) + frame (Kitschy Digitals Vintage Photo Frames at Kitschy Digitals)

A Note from Celeste
This is the last photo I have to my mom and dad with me. We weren't much of a photo taking family. I wish I had more! Unfortunately, this story is a little sad. My father is now having chemotherapy and has a long road to travel. We are hoping for the best!

Journaling
I heard this my whole life, life's not fair. Fifteen years ago the reality of that statement really hit home. Mere weeks after my wedding, I called my mother to tell her something mundane and she explained that she was heading out the door in a few minutes to have a lumpectomy. At that moment, my whole world changed.
The diagnosis came back Stage III breast cancer with some nodes. Not what we were hoping to hear. The doctor's were positive though and my mother began chemotherapy followed by a course of radiation. After many months of treatment and recovery, in June of 1997 she was declared cancer free. We were all relieved and elated.
I moved back to Connecticut in the fall of 1997 to live closer to her. I realized with this scare how short life was and how much I wanted to be able to see her more regularly. I moved within a half hour of my childhood home. Looking back now, I realize how thankful I am for that move. I spent a lot of time with Mom - attending my brother's basketball games, going to the movies, stopping by for dinner, shopping. All the things a girl loves to do with her mom!
I'll never forget that phone call in May of 1998. The cancer was back with a vengeance. Inoperable this time, my mother would undergo a stem cell transplant in the hopes that practically killing all of her cells would eradicate the cancer. Stem cell transplant therapy is a brutal mix of powerful chemotherapy and neutropenia (lack of white blood cells.) It was truly a horrifying experience to watch my mother shrink away to nothing. At least I was here though, helping her, encouraging her.
The cancer could not be beat. My mother decided to try an experimental treatment called Heat Shock Protein. More stem cell therapy, more chemotherapy, it was all in vain. In March of 2000, the doctor called us into a conference room in the hospital and told us that Mom was not going to make it. We were all devastated and took time to say our goodbyes. She passed away with my father and I at her side within a day.
And life not being fair just continues. Eleven and a half years later, the phone rings it's my father with bad news - Stage III esophageal cancer. Prognosis not good. The tide of sadness and fear just fills me. Now the chemotherapy and the hoping begin for him. Cancer - life's not fair.

September Fun Fact
My oldest started middle school this year. It's amazing I'm excited and nervous for him all at the same time. Let's hope he catches on to it quickly - he's my forgetful one!

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