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Dear Tom,

My mother worked as an executive assistant for a government contractor for 21 years but she had to retire when she was diagnosed with cancer for the second time – the first time was in 2007 with sarcoma – which is a rare form of cancer – and she beat it.

The second time was in 2013, when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  She was having severe pain in her lower back and the doctors found a tumor in her lower spine and pelvic area.  It was so big, that it broke her hip and her sacrum bone and she had to retire early after 21 years.

Doctors used radiation to reduce the tumor to remove it.  She then had a stem cell transplant and chemotherapy. After all that, her immune system was so weak, that she had to be isolated for 100 days to prevent remission.

My mom is now cancer free and is focusing on her health and family.  She has 4 boys & 4 girls plus 21 grandchildren.  Just last week, her oldest granddaughter announced that she is going to turn my mom into a great-grandmother!

My parents have been married for 31 years and he stuck to his vows.  He was there for better and for worse, and remained by her side through both her cancers.

So, after being in & out of the hospital all these years, I think she would really enjoy a long-deserved vacation… she hasn’t been on a trip since 2005.

THURSDAY MORNING MOM: Delia Mackey  was originally published on