It takes a lot to be one of my heroes. That's probably why I don't have many. I mean my mom, who is my biggest hero, has had 12 years of cancer which has at some point spread from her breast to her bones, lungs, and brain. She's been through chemotherapy, multiple rounds of radiation, and been on just about every hormonal treatment that's out there. She lost her hair from the chemo when I was in high school but still attended all of my sporting events and parent teacher conferences. She never asks the doctors how much time she has left because she doesn't want to live her life like she's dying.
This past Christmas, we found out she had a tumor the size of twinkie inside of her brain. She had to have immediate surgery to remove it. The doctors all told us the surgery would last 4-6 hours so we all thought the worst when they showed up in about 2 (and when I say all of us I mean practically my entire extended family - which is huge - was there at some point). Her surgery was successful but still brain surgery so we were all nervous about what would happen when she woke up: if she would remember us, if she would remember anything, if she could talk, if she could move, if she woke up at all (so much is affected by the brain).
And then she woke up and within two days was able to talk and was attempting to rip her bandages off. Oh and she made sure the doctors knew that her blood pressure cuff was on the wrong side (she had a lumpectomy when she was first diagnosed and the blood pressure cuff isn't supposed to be on the same side as that surgery was: a fact that everyone else but her completely forgot about). She also corrected my brother a few times and gave all the nurses some major sass. And then the first thing my mom did when she was fully coherent was to start calling everyone she knew to check in on them and writing lists of what to get us all for Christmas. But that's my mom. She's stubborn, strong-willed, always right about everything, thinks of everyone else but herself and never ceases to amaze me. It took her less than a week to be discharged after her surgery, which is pretty much unheard of after you have a twinkie sized tumor removed. And now, almost 3 months later, she's had her first MRI since her surgery and is just as excited about being allowed to drive now than about the fact that the tumor didn't come back.
I can't help but think about how crazy it is that she even survived that surgery and I can't help but think that a big part of why she did is because she's a Kobasic. My mom's extended family is almost as incredible as she is. We've had our fair share of health scares on my mom's side of the family and yet we've overcome almost all of them. And we've been there for each other every step of the way. The waiting room during my mother's surgery (and for pretty much the week after) was completely filled with the Backo-Kobasic clan. Everyone brought some sort of snack (because we like to eat in our family) and we were probably being obnoxiously loud. But all that food and loudness helped my dad, my brothers, and I get through the time my mom spent in the hospital and I can't thank my extended family enough. Every time I think about the day of my mom's surgery, I don't think about how scared and upset I was, I think about a dozen or so of my family members in a tiny room, waiting for the doctors to come in and explain how the surgery went in detail.
Then I think about how my mom probably had more visitors in ICU and step down than all of the other patients combined. Family is so important for her and for me. That's why I'm not surprised that so many of my family members have donated to Miles for Mom. We stand by each other and we always will. I don't know if I'll have any heroes who aren't members of my family. I don't think anyone else would even come close.