• April Fools!

    I wish it were an April Fools prank. Unfortunately, this was no April Fools joke!

    On Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 4:04pm EST, my dad, Larry Dix called me. I saw the call come in on my cell phone. I was on the other line with a client, so I sent him a quick text that said, "On a call. I'll call you right back." I didn't think much of my dad calling me during the day; I honestly just thought it was work related. Then, 32 minutes later, I received a text back from my dad saying, "As soon as you can would be good." At that point, at 4:36pm, I knew in my gut something was terribly wrong. I quickly wrapped up my call and called him right back. 

    My family is strong; my dad...stronger. So when I called him back, in a calm voice, he said, "It's been a pretty crazy day around here. Your mom had to go to the ER today." Having battled skin cancer, various other health challenges, and being the clumsiest person in our family, I just thought, "Oh no! What now?" We always joke that Ronda is the least athletic person in our family, but has had more injuries than anyone else. So, Lar continued with his story about how Ronda had signs of forgetfulness over the past couple of months and how her co-workers had recently noticed very visible signs of concern with the left side of her mouth being droopy, and her left leg shuffling when she walked. So, they had decided it was necessary for her to call her doctor so she could get an appointment scheduled to see him. He immediately told her to go to the Emergency Room. One of Ronda's co-workers took her directly to Bryan Health West in Lincoln. As I was sitting there in our oversized chair in our living room over 1300 miles away, my dad's voice began to shake and he said, "They found a tumor in her brain." I processed the information quickly, and in typical Dix Family style fashion, my mind immediately went to a logical state of mind...calm, searching for the facts, so I would know how to react and what the next necessary steps need to be. 

    The next day, I booked a one-way flight home. 

    Then, on Friday, April Fools Day, we received what was possibly the worst outcome (besides not surviving surgery) that we could have received. The tumor was indeed........cancer. It is called "Glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer," my dad said. He said, "you can google it, but be prepared." So, I did. I read enough to know that this type of Stage 4 cancer has a 100% chance of re-occurring and my mom had just been dealt her death sentence. I sobbed. I was so sad. 

    I was so sad for my dad. I was so sad for her sisters who have already lost a grandmother, mother, and both of their brothers to pancreatic cancer. But mostly, I was sad for my mom. I couldn't imagine being told this news. Although, she didn't even know it yet because it would be almost a week before my mom ever "woke up" from surgery. 

    This began my mother's journey...of the rest of her life...