A Mother’s Worse Nightmare


Receiving a call at 4:50AM is never a good thing.  So you can imagine how my heart sank when my oldest daughter entered the bedroom with a cell phone in her hand, saying, “Arielle needs to talk to you.”

“Hello,” I said, afraid of what I was going to hear in return. Her words sounded as though they had been carefully chosen, like she had rehearsed them several times over before actually making the call. And then I heard, “Okay, Mom… promise you won’t freak out.” So naturally, I immediately started to freak out, internally!  Then I heard,  “And don’t go into Mommy Mode,  you promise?”  I reluctantly promised… with my fingers tightly crossed behind my back.

While my mind was screaming “Arielle just tell me, just tell me what the fuck is happening,” my heart was softly whispering in the background, “Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, don’t tell me… whatever it is don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”

I heard the words HOSPITAL and CANCER and that was all I heard.

Somehow I managed to hold it together.  I listened, asked a few questions, made a lot of “Ah huh” noises and don’t remember if I ever went into “Mommy Mode,” whatever that is?

During the next several hours I vacillated between organized chaos (calling the airline to change my flight, looking for a hotel in London, doing laundry so I’d have clean clothes, calling Nick, etc.) to a generalized, mild hysteria.

My mind said things like, “This cannot be happening; this is my child; someone has made a terrible mistake.”  I believed this was a very bad dream and that I would wake up at any minute… but I didn’t.

Soon I realized that this was the beginning of a journey that I never, ever wanted to take.




  1. Melissa, I am at a loss for words. I will follow this journey with you, and send gentle blessings for you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing, you will help many. Love, Susan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No words to take away your fear, or the cancer. But I will say, you fucking go lady, your strength won’t desert you. And tell Arielle to kick that bastard cancer in the arse – any daughter of yours cannot escape your DNA and there is no other outcome to this but for you all to thrive. I love you and every day all of you are in my heart xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa, no words and so very many. My heart goes out to you, what you share is undoubtedly a mothers worse nightmare. I lived the nightmare over 10 years ago and thankfully we all came through, with the incredible love support and care of friends and family, often from unexpected places. It was the deepest darkest time of my life. I am sending you so much love, healing and prayers, all of you. No words and so very very many more……♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is there to say? Surely something – surely nothing. I can say it hurts – and it does, but no where near what you must feel. I wish I could take it away. I sort of lived this last week, and while we still have no diagnosis, I can still pray it won’t come to this. I am looking to you for strength and I know you will come through – I can only hope I won’t need it.

    I still remember when your little Arielle had a huge crush on my Eric. Can we please go back there? I’m praying for you, Arielle, Nick and Sera with all my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dearest Melissa You are a lady full of great spirit and strength that you will share along the way with Arielle along with a few f words thrown in but thats ok to ! Sending you much love n light xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have captured every mothers worst fear and shared it so well! I’m so very sorry your daughter, you, and your family are going through this, but have no doubt that you have the strength, courage, and determination to get through it on top! My love, hugs, and prayers are with you all!! Thank you for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As mothers we all feel your pain. Yes, go into mommie mode, that’s when you do whatever you need to do for your child, then break down and cry later. I’ll be keeping positive thought for Arielle as she goes through this fight. I know she’ll come out a winner with you at her side.


  8. As I read your blog, I was taken back to 2008 with very similar experiences when Anissa was diagnosed with a brain tumor and subsequently lost her eye sight from it. I wish that it was possible for me to be there to do what friends do at times like this. Rest assured that Anissa and I will be the best prayer warriors we can be for Arielle. Stay close to God. That’s how I made it through.


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