In April 2019, my mother's life was turned upside down when she received the life-altering news that the cancer she had once beaten in the early 90s—a rare form of bone cancer called a chondrosarcoma—had recurred. This time, however, it is significantly larger than the last. The only form of treatment for this cancer at this stage, given how massive it is, is what's called an external hemipelvectomy. This is a procedure in which, to get healthy margins around the tumour when removing it, they have to amputate her left leg and remove half of her pelvis. My mom will have a team of expert surgeons taking care of the different and tremendously complex parts of this procedure. She will be in the OR for 14 to 16 hours, and there will be a long recovery and a significant period of adjustment for both my parents.
Not one to be held back by, well, absolutely anything, and fiercely committed to her recovery so she can go right back to being involved in her church and in her community, my beautiful and strong mother is preparing for this daunting procedure by staying calm, focusing on each day and the unique challenges it brings. She is facing the challenge by drawing strength from her community, singing in church, and taking comfort in the countless profound relationships she has built over the years through selfless dedication and love. And she will continue to draw strength in this way through her recovery, which will be long and difficult but fuelled by her tenacity and strength.
This page is where we will update all of her family, friends, community leaders, past students, and so many others whose lives have been touched by her unbelievable heart, empathy, and compassion, among a million other amazing qualities. She loves you all and wants everyone to know how she's doing, so the family will post updates here as much as we can. Feel free to leave her notes of support; she will read or hear each one, and know that every single caring word will uplift her and buoy her when she needs it most. Thank you for sharing this difficult journey with us.
If you would like to support Mom's recovery, you can visit the GoFundMe page. You can do this by clicking on "Ways to Help" in the purple bar above (below the pictures) and then click on "GoFundMe." You can also just click here: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/helpmarionfightcancer to
check it out.