Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: No fear

Posted June 3, 2012

Early on in her fight against brain cancer, my mother started making a list of the advantages. While they were tongue and cheek for the most part, there was also a grain of truth to the fact that once you are facing a terminal disease, none of the stuff that you thought was so important before the moment of your diagnosis even registers on your radar.

Among her list of things that she is no longer worried or concerned about or afraid of: Germs on toilet seats, flying, being abducted, eating dessert, flossing, getting her hair messed up, dogs, being abducted, caffeine, terrorists, late fees, taxes, car-jacking and thunder.

It occurred to me that being the daughter of someone with brain cancer also frees you up from the fear and concerns you dwelled on in your former life. Amanda Lamb's mom is a 'brain cancer warrior.'

Anyone who has experienced a tragedy that feels like your family has been hit by a torpedo knows what I’m talking about. When I hear whining and complaining now, it sounds like this to me: Blah, blah, blah. Things that used to ruffle my feathers, I simply dismiss and ignore and put in the “don’t care category.”

In short, life comes into razor sharp focus. It is a place where there is no time or energy for the tedious, the mundane and the unimportant. You become Teflon in a world where so much energy is spent agonizing over things that don’t matter.

Here’s what I worry about now. Is my mother comfortable? Did she get enough to eat? Is she drinking enough water with her medication? Do I need to refill her medication? Is that her calling me in the middle of the night on the baby monitor? Does she need me? And most of all, how does she feel?

So, as I re-enter the working world, I do so with a new perspective, one that will be for now always encircled in the battle that my family is facing.

But even after the journey is over, I hope I will remember the lessons that I have learned throughout this journey — that energy spent worrying about minor things in life is wasted. Reserve it for things that matter, because you never know when you’re really going to need it.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on mothering. Find her here on Mondays. Follow her mother's story daily on her CaringBridge site.



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  • theharps2 Jun 4, 2012


  • lec02572 Jun 4, 2012

    Well said and written. As I have said before, I have been down this road twice. I lost two of the most important women in my life to this, my mother and my aunt (who was 14 months older than I). It does change your prospective to live, how you live, and how you feel. One thing that we all learn is that there are things that matter and there are things that don't. It become crystal clear what matters and what really doesn't matter. Prayers with you and your family and continue being the daughter that you are.

  • NCishome Jun 4, 2012

    You are so right Amanda. I find myself saying "I don't care about that" more than I ever thought I would. When I hear other people complain about their aging parents I just want to slap them silly. To make them realize that the parents time is enjoy them before they are taken away. Who cares that it takes extra time to get out the door for a simple trip to pick up meds. Who cares that they want something different than what you have fixed for dinner or they don't eat all of the food.
    The main thing is that they are comfortable and safe. I do not regret having my Mom in our home. Time is all that I have with her which is my greatest gift.
    Stay strong and it's ok to lean on people.