It was Wednesday night, and my husband and I were packing up to head to Kansas for my family bridal shower over the weekend. While I always love celebrating my life events with friends and family, I get a little sheepish when all the attention is on me. How do I act? What do I say? All eyes on me!

As I was shoving multiple outfit choices in my tiny carryon, my phone lit up with a call from my mom. After a bit of chit chat, my mom said, “We are seeing the doctor on Thursday morning, and then plan to drive to Wichita Friday, and be there for your shower on Saturday. It’s probably going to be just a quick scan, and then we can leave while we wait on the results.” You see, my mom’s doctor had discovered some spots on her liver that just weren’t going away, and had suggested she take a trip to MD Anderson in Houston to get a second opinion. My mom and dad had just arrived in Dallas to stop over at my brother’s house to break up the ride.

I was excited to know that my parents would be there for the shower, but I think some part of me knew the weekend would not unfold so easily. “Ok, great,” I replied. “Do they think it’s something there is a treatment for?” I was referring to the spots they found in her liver. After 9 years of battling this crazy disease called cancer, it seemed this one might require some heavy lifting to treat.

“They aren’t sure what they will want to do, so we just need to go have the tests run, and bloodwork,” she replied. What I would learn two years after she had passed, was that her body had stopped responding to chemo back in September. It was April now.

The only way I knew how to deal with cancer news was to immediately jump in to treatment options, while maintaining a positive outlook. Why? Because it’s too hard to picture the worst. To picture your mom dying. To think of your dad left heartbroken and alone. To think of all the dark moments ahead. To think of all the moments cancer steals. I always thought, “This treatment will work, because it has to.”

That had always been the case, even against all odds. Until now.