A recipe for living with cancer.

My Mom was the strongest woman I knew growing up. She worked in my Dad’s business as the bookkeeper every day, took care of the family, lived with my Dad for over 50 years, battled breast cancer, made the girls clothes, taught us to cook, was well read and cared about everyone. Prevention magazine was her guide book to health, she took scads of vitamins, minerals and elixirs, went to a chiropractor regularly, doctors very infrequently, followed trends in food health…butter bad, margarine good…frozen veggies have more vitamins and minerals…and baked all our cakes, pies, cookies, and breads and became interested in Reflexology.

Foot and hand Reflexology became her passion and the absolute cure for any aliment you had or thought you were getting. Headache, pressure points on the thumb, stomach either side of the heel on each foot, neck pain in-between the toes. When visiting she would always ask, do you want me to work on your feet? It was as good as a full body massage and I rarely said no. She would lie you down on the couch, put a pillow in her lap, grab some hand cream and prop your feet in front of her. She did EVERYONE in the family and anyone else that needed it. It takes a very special person to touch someone else’s feet!

As she grew older and her fingers and knuckles started to bend and twist with arthritis like an old willow branch, she still worked on our feet with an amazing strength in her fingers for one with hands so compromised. She always chatted and laughed and giggled at little quips and jokes we’d trade as she methodically worked from big toe to little toe, arch, sides and heel. I was always sorry when she got to the heel on the last foot because this very special time was ending. It was more than Reflexology, it was very special time spent together, laughing, sometimes crying and healing.

My daughter Miriam inherited all my Mom’s strength. She works, takes care of a family, cooks, cleans and cares about everyone. When my cancer therapy was set up she immediately set up a schedule to help out. She comes the evening of the therapy to help out in any way she can, she takes me for my shot the day after therapy, she comes every Wednesday for lunch, she makes me a batch of magic miracle broth as needed and is basically “on call” in case I need her.
Wednesday night we went to visit the kids before my therapy and before they went away for a long weekend. I sat and had a wonderful time coloring with Zelda and Tom played Bob the Builder with Oz. Miriam noticed I had a stiff neck and gave me a shoulder massage and immediately found this huge knot, which was causing my neck pain. She slowly and methodically massaged down my back and up my neck giving me some relief. I was transported back to the many sessions on my Mom’s couch, feet on a pillow with her methodically working down my foot.

Again it was not just the massage, it was the time spent together, laughing, sometimes crying and healing.
Love to all the strong women in my life.

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