Thursday, May 6, 2010

Please Sir May I Have Another

My mom has always been an over achiever.   So much so, after joining the Arkansas Army National Guard, she came home from her summer long Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on crutches, having basically shattered both heels!  Thirteen years later, when I spent the better part of a summer at Fort McClellan, Alabama, I found out exactly how amazing her feat really was.

My mom gives her all to everything she does.  She works very hard at every endeavor she attempts.  Not just hard, she works as hard as she possibly can, and she "always" meets the goals she sets for herself.  I say "always" because there's not a goal I know of that she hasn't met.  I'm sure she would say that's not the case, but in my eyes, she's a goal getter.  More than that, once she meets a goal, she sets another one.

Since retiring from her job, my mom has taken to making things.  She has crocheted, done needle point, made dolls and made scrapbooks.  Before she finishes one task, she's already looking for the next project.  One thing my mother is not--idle!

My mother lives by the philosophy you can do anything you set your mind to.  When the Guard went from a physical fitness test that consisted of walking four miles in under an hour to push ups, sit ups and a two mile run, my mom hadn't done push ups for several years.  She began training months before the test each year in order to assure she could pass with flying colors, and she always did so.

I remember one time she set her mind to lose weight.  She found a diet plan that called for two meal substitutions a day with a special shake.  After faithfully sticking with the plan, she lost all the pounds she had wanted to.

This attitude served her well when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I'm sure she was worried on some level, but she never seemed to even let it phase her, even though the cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes in her underarm.  She is the only person I've ever even heard of who gained weight during chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  The doctor ordered her to keep up her strength and eat even if she felt sick-and she did what she needed to do. 

Just after breathing a sigh of relief at her five year remission anniversary (the time when the chance of relapse drops significantly), she found out the cancer had in fact come back.  She was told this time it was an aggressive, fast growing cancer.  She didn't bat an eye and said, "Okay, let's do this again."  She came through with flying colors, just as I expected and has been cancer free for over three years now.

I hope I have even a fraction of my mom's drive and determination.


  1. I have loved these tributes you have been giving to your mother. Too sweet, Dana. Sounds like she's just as lucky to have you as a daughter.

    I want you to know that I have "tagged" you in a blogger thing. You can pop over to my blog and check it out if you're interested. If you don't want to do it, this is fine. I will take no offense to it. I have just enjoyed reading about you and would kind of like to learn more! Hope you have a great rest of the day!

  2. Honey, you have more determination and aggressiveness than I ever had. I am so proud of all your accomplishments. I am also proud of the "stand up for yourself" determination. I hope you will always remember that "you can do anything you set your mind to do." Love you,