It was five years ago today that my mother was having surgery to remove a tumor in her kidney. Five years ago in September we got the news that they had found a mass on her kidney and soon discovered it was cancerous. It was unclear whether or not the cancer was encapsulated in the kidney or if it had broken the wall of the kidney and grown into the surrounding lymph nodes. So, five years ago today, with support from family and friends, we all sat in the waiting room of the hospital awaiting word that her surgery had gone well and if the tumor was confined to that one area. Thankfully, the surgery went very well and the tumor was encapsulated so no follow up chemotherapy was needed! I know sometimes my mother struggles with accepting praise for "beating" cancer when she feels like she didn't do much other than get it cut out of her. BUT, it was still cancer, there was still the fear and doubt that goes along with it, there was still a great deal of pain associated with the surgery, and there is still follow up every year to make sure the cancer hasn't resurfaced somewhere else. The fact of the matter is, she did have cancer, she is a cancer survivor and a fighter too. Recently a friend of ours gave a kidney to save her sister's life, and watching her go through the ordeal really made me appreciate even more what my mother had to endure. Since my mother's surgery five years ago they have made changes to the way they perform the surgery, to include the length of the incision. Lori's incision is very small and more towards her stomach, whereas my mother's incision is pretty much from her belly button all the way around to her mid back. Five years ago, kidney surgery was second to heart surgery for being the most painful with the most recovery time, whereas now due to the new advances, kidney surgery's recovery time is about 6 weeks, about the same as a C-section! So, way to go mom, you endured a lot emotionally and physically and we are so thankful to have you in our lives! In the last five years, she's been able to enjoy seeing her daughter (that's me!) get engaged, married, pregnant, have a baby, enjoy her first grandchild (Emily!) and enjoy watching me grow through another pregnancy. I'm so glad that she was around to witness and enjoy all of these special events. So, hooray! Rejoice with me on this special day! Love you mom!