Written by Tiffany McGoey
Chemo Beanies | Customer Services / Sales
The Spring of 2006 was starting out to be really great. My parents and little sister moved back home after living in Georgia for 4 years, I was scheduled to graduate from LSU, and my boyfriend of 5 years asked me to marry him. All of the planning for the upcoming events were going smoothly, until March 13, 2007.
I knew something was wrong when I tried calling my mom at work and nobody would get her on the phone. Everyone at my mom’s office knew that it was me calling for her, because I called the same time everyday to check in and tell her about my day and hear about her day. After pleading and begging, they finally told me that she was with my dad at the doctor’s office. I grew extremely worried because my mom never went to the doctor, especially with my dad.
Three hours later, my dad called me back and told me that she revealed a lump in her breast and went to get a mammogram. We quickly found out that the golfball sized lump in her breast was cancer. I was prepared for that; however, what I wasn’t prepared for was the news we would get in the next couple of weeks.
After her lumpectomy, the surgeon came out and told us that her lymph nodes were “matted” together and they would all need to come out. Later we learned that her cancer had spread to her lungs, adrenal gland, liver, and bones. We decided as a family that the best plan for her would be to go to MD Anderson for treatment. My mom was 45 years old with three daughters, 26, 24, and 12.
For the next year treatment went really well. My dad drove her to Houston every other week for chemo, doctor’s visits, and scans. She continued to work full time at Terrebonne General Medical Center in medical administration. She had great energy and enjoyed being at work with her co workers. What she didn’t like, was having to wear her wig.
She had a few to choose from, including one we named “Lucky”. None of them really looked like her and she hated them. They were hot and itchy. I remember the first thing she would do when she would get home from work is yank it off and throw it on her bed.
Unfortunately, her working days would be over in April 2008 after a scan showed the cancer spread to her brain. Over the next year and a half, her health declined drastically.
At this time, my husband, Pas, and I lived in Alabama with our daughter, Grace, who was just months old. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband that would drive his wife and daughter to Louisiana and take a flight back home to Alabama, so that Grace’s Maw Maw would get to see her as much as possible. Even though my mom couldn’t hold her and play with her, she could hear her laugh, talk, and cry, which is all I could ask for.
My mom’s battle with breast cancer ended on September 30, 2009. One of the hardest days of my life. Personally, it was easiest to not talk about my mom, breast cancer, or anything related. And I didn’t for a while. Until I was offered a job at Chemo Beanies.
My role at Chemo Beanies has given me the opportunity to share my mom’s story and has helped me cope with my mom’s death. I thank the owners of Chemo Beanies on a daily basis for allowing me to be a part of the business because it brings me so much satisfaction. I truly enjoy helping women, like my mom, feel beautiful with a simple beanie.