Brooke's Stories

Parasites & Merlot

I’ve spent the better part of the last 3 days crying.

Already grieving.

Already regretting.

Already wishing I had more time.

I thought we had more time.

I look at my kids and I can’t bear to tell them. There’s no way I can. So I’ll just tell them the bare minimum when I can do so without crying.

Last week my mom went to the ER for what they thought was a gall bladder issue. But, on Friday, she was diagnosed with metastatic (Stage 4) colon cancer.

At just 50 years old, the cancer has already spread to her liver with “too many tumors to count.” Surgery isn’t an option for her liver and she is starting chemo next week.

My mom is only 50 and I thought I had more time.

I will pray fervently that we do have more time, while simultaneously living as if we don’t- per doctors orders.

She will have 3 months of chemo and then they will re-evaluate.

This weekend will be the last weekend she spends with her grandkids before she starts chemo and we’re going to make the best of it.

In her true fashion, she asked her doctor if she could still drink wine. He said, “Of course! I’m not going to take that away from you!” So, she’s cleared for her precious Merlot.

The only restriction to her diet is that she can’t have sushi. Although the risk of getting a parasite is low, that’s not something she’ll want to tango with while in treatment.

I told the doctor, “Parasites & Merlot” would be the title of my next blog post. So here it is.

Maybe I’ll write a more typical blog post later on, but, for now, this is all that I can put together.

If you have any tips or advice for us as we start this battle with cancer, please share!

If you’d like to send my mom a card or gift, here is the address:

Lisa Binkley

PO Box 1093

Lewisburg, TN 37091

Please pray for her. My kids need their crazy Nona to stick around a lot longer and so does the little girl below ❤️

When your mom is diagnosed with cancer you put all of your strength into your family. Diagnosed with cancer quotes. The real feelings of cancer diagnoses inspirational quotes. #cancersucks

35 thoughts on “Parasites & Merlot

  1. I am saddened to see this. The only advice I have at this time is to just love her through it. She is going to need your strength. It is going to get really hard. I am going through similar with my mom. TAKE CARE OF YOU bc in order to take care of her, you have to be in good shape. I will be sending up many prayers to all of you. My advice to you on the kids… dont hide this from them. It sounds harsh but this world is ugly. Let them be part of helping, let them ask questions. Let them see. Not the nasty gruesome stuff, but you know what I mean. Trust me on this, hiding the truth from them will make it harder in the end. They wont understand and will feel lost. I made that mistake.

  2. Oh Brooke I am so very sorry!!! I will say extra prayers for you and your entire family as you battle this horrible disease.

  3. My Mama battled ovarian cancer for 5 years…. it’s the hardest thing in the world watching someone you love suffer through something so scary and uncertain and I’m so sorry you are all going through this.

    Chemo…ginger helps with nausea!
    Ice chips! Crackers!
    Take lots of stuff the to keep her mind off it and to pass the time! Word cross,magazines,YouTube that make her laugh etc….

    My Mama and I went to lunch one day she was feeling ok to do so and she told me that she loved being around me cause I was the only one that did t make her feel like she was sick!! Behaving normal during a very abnormal time is difficult but so important!!
    I’m praying for you all!! For strength-healing-peace!!

    1. May I suggest for the funny You Tube spots try Jeanne Robertson and Mark Lowry. Both are hilarious, clean humor. There are probably many others – these two are my faves. God’s blessings on you and your family, especially your mom. Hope this goes well. Hugs.

    2. My sister in law and I were best friends for 16 years when she was diagnosed. She told me the exact same thing “She loved that I didn’t treat her any differently than before.” She hated the pity.
      Also ice cream is great for mouth sores. Also magic mouthwash.
      My prayers are with you and your mom.

  4. Brooke, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I am 50 and have spent the last year battling stage 3 endometrial and ovarian cancer. I wish I could tell you it was easy but I cannot. It was hard. What I can tell you is that I am a Christian and I trust God and upon learning of my diagnosis, I began to pray fervently for healing. My friends and family prayed and even strangers prayed and God answered their prayers. The cancer is gone. I believe in the power of prayer and I am now going to pray for your mom. Cancer made me appreciate everything and everyone around me so much more. I treasure my life and live every day to the fullest because I have no promise of tomorrow. Hang in there. You are not alone.

    1. Agreeing in prayer for your mom to walk through this boldly and come out the other side strong. Take a picture of her strong and tape it up on the bathroom mirror. NO matter how things look just keep pressing on towards becoming that person in the pic again. A family I know from church just went through 1 year of various treatments. They tried something new involving Car T cells. It worked. His incurable cancer is gone as of today. I know nothing about Car T but research it. I think they went to Vanderbilt for it.

  5. I really feel for you. My wife lost her mother almost 3 years ago to small cell ovarian cancer.. She was 49 and still had 5 kids between the ages of 8 and 15 still at home. My only advice I have, is enjoy every moment you can. And have family pictures taken! And get prints! Take lots of photos! I stress this matter even when people are not faced with something like cancer. You never know what the next 5 minutes will bring. I wish you and your family the best of luck.

  6. I lost my Grandmother, Grandfather and Uncle to cancer. I almost lost my Momma but through power of prayer and her rock solid Faith, she defeated it. I wouldn’t know what to do without my Momma and I can only imagine the tidal wave going on in your head. I will pray for Momma, you and your family. Never lose Faith.

  7. My mom died six years ago after they discovered a tumor in her liver. She died 19 days after they discovered the tumor from a blood clot so I never had the chance to take care of her and help her thru chemo. My advice – ask her how to live without her. My mom taught me everything but how to go thru life without her presence. Take it one day at a time and talk about the hard things but also enjoy the little things.

  8. I wish I could hug you both. I lost my mother in October after a 10 year battle with early onset Alzheimer’s. I’m only 40. I thought we had so much more time too. I’ve also lost a sister to Hodgkin’s lymphoma when I was 13. I was too young to understand then, but I get it now. Love her, cry with her, listen to her, be her advocate, and tell her all the things!! Don’t hold back. Now is not the time for holding back. Most importantly laugh with her. Help each other laugh through this!! Laughter at the most morbid and heartbreaking keeps us sane as insane as it sounds! As others have said take care of you! You need sleep and time to recharge also. A caregiver goes through hell just as much as the person with the illness goes through hell. Cherish every second and let your children cherish their time with her as well. Let them love her and be with her. One day you will look back and those will be the memories that bring you a smile in a moment of darkness. Take pictures and videos all the time!! I’ll be praying for your peace and comfort in the months to come.

  9. I am so sorry that you are all facing this. It is hard road- I lost my Dad almost 2 years ago to stage 4 lung cancer- they gave him 2 months, and we got 2 weeks. The most I can say is- SPEND AS MUCH TIME WITH HER AS POSSIBLE, SAY ALL YOU NEED TO- ESPECIALLY THAT YOU FORGIVE HER (for anything) & MOST IMPORTANTLY, THAT YOU LOVE HER. This will be one of the most brutal & trying times of your life. Let your people be there for you when needed. Love on your kids as much as possible, even though they won’t fully understand. My daughter got me through that time, just by being her…. I will be praying for you all, and wishing for some comfort for all of you. ❤❤

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My brother was just diagnosed in august with stage 4 small cell lung cancer. He’s 55. We didn’t see it coming. He went in thinking he had pneumonia. I can say your mom is probably going through many emotions right now. Anger, sadness,regret,fear. And may feel something different each day. Just be there to listen, to kerp her mind off if it as bedt as posdinle because I’m sure that’s ALL she’s able to think about right now. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Try to convince her that the power of positivity works wonders and to just take 1 day at a time. 1 treatment at a time and everyones case is different so try not to focus on statistics . Sending prayers to your family. I saw a documentary called the truth about cancer recently and learned so much. Look on you tube for it. They have 9 episodes packed with so much information. Foods to eat and not eat etc. Maybe it will help. Again, sending prayers.

  11. Oh my heart breaks for you. I lost my mama suddenly in late 2015 & my daddy fought a hard cancer fight & lost this year.
    It’s unexplainable. I’m a motherless daughter, a fatherless daughter, a parentless child, no one’s child.
    My best advice is cherish the moments, take lots of pictures, record her voice. Things that seem so little will be so huge later on.
    I pray your mama fights & wins!

    1. Yes! Record her voice! I can’t tell you how badly I wish she would have left me a voicemail that I could listen to now. 😭

    2. Tori, I know that feeling all to well. A parent less child. I lost my mom 4 years ago to a heart attack and my dad to cancer this year. But….
      We are never alone, they with us in our hearts always. And as a Christian, I know they are together and I will see them again one day.

      Brooke, talk, all the time, record her voice, have her write letters to her grandbabies for the future. Get her favorite recipes written down, create new ones together, before she’s too sick, take a trip together.
      Stage 4…that sucks… She deserves more time, so do you… We all do.

      I will keep you and her in my prayers..



  12. I’m so sorry you and your Mom have to go through this. I lost my sister to cancer we knew for 1 month and then almost to the day she was gone. Please please spend as much time together making all the memories you can. I wish I would have had the chance. Prayer is powerful. I will say a prayer for your Mom and your family to get through this very tough time. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

  13. I am so sorry to hear that your mom and your family are all going through this. My 44 year old sister was diagnosed with stage 4 metastic lung cancer in September. She started treatment right away, had a scan in November and it was still growing/spreading. They switched treatment and we just found out yesterday it is, yet again, still spreading. We find out today whether they have another option for her or not. I would love to say that everything will work our for the best and your mom’s treatment will work but the sad truth is you don’t know. All you can do is pray and hope that she responds well to the treatment. Spend as much time with her as you can and don’t have any regrets. Cancer really sucks and I wished no one ever had to go through what my family and I are going through and what you will be going through. Sending prayers and positivity to you and your family during this difficult time. I hope they are able to cure her from this. I will follow your story and hope to see some good news in the near future. ❤️

  14. I’m very sorry to read this. My prayers will include your mom and your family & friends through this time. I lost my Mom when I was 24, albeit different circumstances I do have one piece of advice; ask her EVERYTHING. While she is feeling well and able, ask her absolutely everything and use your writing talent to put it all on paper. Whether it’s funny stories from her younger years, or special moments she can share from when you were a child to recipes that she makes that make you feel close to her, ask it all. And take all the pictures and videos of her while she’s feeling up to it so you have those memories and can hear her voice always. I’m hoping for the best possible outcome for her, and hope she enjoys that Merlot!

  15. Hi Brooke,

    So sorry to hear about your mum, cancer is the worst!
    My dad is also battling cancer, started in the prostrate and now moved to his bones. He was 58 when diagnosed, so young for the type of cancer he has! It’s not curable but he manages it, unfortunately chemo didn’t work for him, but he’s on some amazing tablets now and “touch wood” keeping the dreaded C at bay. He also takes cannabis oil which I think is helping immensely, it’s maybe worth you looking into. He’s been fighting for 4 years now!

    We always think our parents are invisible, so it’s such a shock when something like this happens! Positive vibes are the way forward and making sure you create lots of happy memories.

    Good luck with everything!!

    Vicky x

  16. Write down her stories or record them. Keep the kids around her, make memories, paint, dance with her, make a mix of her favorite music. This helped tremendously once my mom passed. Just be present and available, give her space if she needs it.

    After a diagnosis of this magnitude, many family members put themselves in a roles. If you choose an active helping role with your mom, it will be physically, spiritually and emotionally draining. Accept help, dinners, coffee out with friends, visits. But also, schedule time by yourself. It’s a lot to process and you will need space.

    Document everything! Doctors visits, all symptoms, medication regimen, side effects. Have chapstick, ice and crackers available for her chemo. Hats, and non-scented lotion are also important (chemo can dry the skin horribly).

    From my heart, I wish your mom a full recovery. If God has other plans, please please please look into hospice and engage with them early on. My dad and I could not have made it through without them. We were able to go about things while respecting her wishes, through the very end.

    Its devastating, and you will not always have it in you to “be strong.” Sometimes, you will have to just BE. Let it unfold and hold and support your mom in any way you can. I will say a prayer for your family.

    Hugs to you my friend. 💙

  17. Blessings to your family, my mother in law has been battling lung cancer that metastasized to her brain. She decided in November to quit her treatment after doing it for 2 and a half years. She’s tired and ready to go to meet her husband and daughter in heaven. So now we just keep her comfy and live life until her last breath. Will be praying for you and your mom.

  18. Take in every second that you have with her, and let your kids spend as much time with her as possible. You are so right, there is never enough time…..

    Last November my dad got sick with what he was told repeatedly was pneumonia. He didn’t get any better and started to drastically deteriorate and was in and out of doctors offices and the hospital. Over several weeks we were told that it was different things, the main problem being low sodium that could never get straightened out. December 22nd a spot was discovered on his lung. By December 26th he had tumors in his lymphnodes. On January 9th we were told he had small cell lung cancer and that it was also in his sternum. The 10th we were told he was a candidate for chemo because he wasn’t in liver failure yet. January 12th he passed away. His liver failed and the cancer was everywhere, including his brain. There is never enough time. Even if we had known sooner his prognosis would still have only been a few weeks.

    Prayers and love to you and your mom!

  19. I’m so Sorry! My Dad has been battling Cancer for 8 years now, and this year being the worst yet. The Best advice is Pray and keep Praying!!! Also take as many pictures as you can, even on the bad days. Because one day that may be all you have left is the pictures. Also keep a Journal for her to your kids of things she would want them to know, and how she feels. They will want that one day to know what she was like, and how they can remember her when they are older. I Pray you find Peace in all that is here now, and for what is to come.

  20. Make sure someone drives her to her Chemo appointments regardless of what she says they really take the stuffing out of you after the first treatment. Some days were harder than others. Please be extra patient chemo can affect short and long term memory and moods, and on ydah, loss of filter between brain and mouth. I thought it i said it…. Praying you get the time you need as a family

    1. Thank you for the tips! I’m definitely going to the first one to see how it goes and more than willing to go to them all!

  21. My heart hurts for your family. Will be praying and sending positive healing vibes. I lost both my parents to cancer within two months of each other. Esophageal and Pancreatic. Healthwise please try to get your mom to stay hydrated. My Dad barely drank 8 ounces of water a day and became dehydrated several times due to the chemo and radiation. It made everything so much worse.
    Try not to focus on the anticipatory grief. It soaks up your energy. Make happy loving memories, be supportive, above all love each other. Make videos even if your mom is not at her best. One of the best things I did was arrange for a family photo shortly after my Dad was diagnosed (Mom was diagnosed 2 weeks after he passed). Dad thought he looked like crap and he certainly felt awful but that family photo is something my siblings and our children all cherish greatly.

    1. Thank you! This is the first time I’ve heard of “anticipatory grief” and it perfectly describes how I have been feeling. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  22. So sorry your mom and all of you have to go through this .Enjoy every minute that you can with each other. As my mom used to tell me, this is part of life, the hard part. I’m just so sorry .

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