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The TruthSeeker® film blogs began in 2011 as journal entries from Judy Ben-Asher. What was happening in her life at that time, drove her need to learn. Judy's desire to share that information was the impetus for the documentary film, TruthSeeker®. This is the beginning...
My mom came to California, to visit and we went to the Neiman Marcus Outlet, I swear you can hear birds chirping and songs floating on the air when you open the doors, lol. Mom bought the prettiest pink suit I had ever seen, for our wedding. We are both just so excited and she is so proud! Yay and phew.
Things thing with her health kept bugging me. Every time I brought up restroom use or weight loss or mood swings, she brought up her pretty pink suit like I was trying to steal her dreams. I had no idea what to do.
I started with a phone call to her doctors office. I spoke to a very nice nurse that thought I was a nut case. I just kept talking, lol i figured if I could keep her on the phone mom has a chance at getting in. I did tell the nurse I went to high school with her doctor, so I hoped she passed along the message. I was kind of starting to freak out. Seriously, what the hell is happening? No one was listening to me. No one was seeing what I was seeing, ugh. Then, her doctor called me woot-woot happy dance. He said that no disease he could think of had these symptoms but he would have his staff call her in for a “regular checkup”, so yay! I gave him my list of what I noticed, I TOLD him that he will want to see her in a gown, so he can see her body and her bones and the no muscle. Well, she calls me the day she saw him and said he told her to say hi. I asked what she went in for and she said just the usual. She said he wanted to do a “more extensive check-up” but she wouldn't get in a gown because she didn't want to “frighten him with her spooky bones and saggy skin”. I both wasn’t surprised and lost my mind. That was the whole purpose of the visit. She also said she didn’t tell him about her “restroom stuff because it’s just old lady things and kind of gross”. So when I called him back to say, WTF duuuuuude, he said, oh she seems fine. We had a lovely conversation. She is so funny!
Two months later, she came out to visit me again, we were driving on the 101 freeway in Los Angeles and she had a temper tantrum in my car, on the freeway in rush hour traffic. My crime that sent her spinning was that I didn’t want to do a reception line at the cocktail hour of our wedding because I figured, that would take the hour of our cocktail hour. She was literally flailing arms, red-faced and hopping around in her seatbelt. I was in tears because this so was NOT her personality. Never in my life have I seen her so upset and this upset because I didn’t want to shake 180 hands after standing in front of all these people in the most emotional ceremony of my life, in a white strapless dress, that I feared I would look like a cloud in or at the very least the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Which I did but with a huge smile, okay, off topic shush.
After she calmed down we did talk about “the incident in the car” she said that it was very important to her mother to have a receiving line and she had to do it so do I, nope, not going to let this go, something is VERY wrong here!! I explained that more than two weeks of any symptom means there is an underlying issue. If she had say, diarrhea for 6 months straight, there is an issue. She promised she would call her doctor. She did, she saw a belly specialist.
Mom was sent to a gastroenterologist. He put her on all fat diet to see if she would “plump up”. Didn’t work as it all went right through her. At this point, her belly started to swell and she was just mad because THE pink suit didn't fit, she couldn't button the belly.
I called her doctor who got her in for an ultrasound. The tech removed a liter of fluid. She said “that happens to old people” again NOT A THING! She called her doctor to see what the labs said, they didn’t take any because the tech felt it was normal. SO I sent her back to the doctor, this is nine months of this already, she went in for an ultrasound. My mom said her belly was so huge she looked 6 months pregnant. She was even more upset that her suit wasn't going to fit, so she bought a new dress that "could house an alien baby". The drew NINE litters of fluid from her belly this time and she demanded they test it.
By this time, what should have been the best time of my life was the most worrisome ever and I felt like whatever was happening was now passing the point of saving her. I just wanted her well and happy! Whatever that test showed meant she needed more test and she was called in for some scans and CA125 blood test. My dad, is a doctor so he was copied on all her testing, must be so hard on him. Moms doctor didn’t call her with results.
My dad had received the results in the middle of his workday, a Friday and a week before our wedding. He went home and had to tell her she had advanced stage ovarian cancer. She didn’t tell me.
We had a beautiful, fun and romantic and happy wedding! Dan and I ran to Catalina Island for a rest and short honeymoon. We had a family meeting via Skype and she shared with us all that it was late-stage ovarian cancer. It's one thing to have feeling but another to hear it. All I could say was "shit shit shit". I was in a way relieved to know what IT was so we could all rally together and find solutions to get her well and I was also devastated hearing it out-loud. The next thing to do was, she would have laparoscopic surgery to see what's happening.
My heart broke for her. She is such a vibrant lady with the best friends in the world, truly, and a massive community that loves her, a 57-year marriage and kids that adore her. Her biggest upset in all of this was that she couldn’t hike lol. She just wanted to get back on her mountain with those people. She is so strong. We will get more information and she will conquer this thing!
MY FIRST PAIR OF SKATES.
I have always had excitement, massive curiosity and a very playful nature. I jump head first into everything I do, this day was no exception. I got my first pair of roller skates from my mom, who was already my favorite person and now she reached a whole new level. It didn't matter that I had no idea how to skate. It didn't matter that I was on carpet. I was gifted these skates and I was off and running, wahoo so fun!! Now with wheels, I was even more unstoppable, I was so focused on rolling forward and that has been how I continue to live my life, lol, for better or worse.
I met Dan Hirshfeld in fifth grade in Tucson, Arizona. He left to go to school in another country when we were 13, which was so sad for us all as he was super funny, so smart and really cute. I ran into him again when we were 18 and oh man, still soooo cute and I fell hard! We dated oh so briefly. Twenty one years later I got a friend request on Facebook, from Dan whaaaat? I was giddy as ever!! We began texting and then talking on the phone. My mom, who was still my favorite person once again, encouraged me to leap and I did!! Wahoo.
Dan was living in Texas and I was in California. I asked him to come visit and pack up his truck and bring his everything and stay. His halfway point driving out to me in LA landed him in Tucson where he went to my parent's house for a family dinner, without me there. Yes, seriously, before we had even seen each other. Lol, ugh and holy crap. If this guy can handle my family without seeing me in 21 years, he can handle anything!! I told them not to grill him and go easy and of course, the first things they did, grill him and he survived. He still came out to be with me in California!! I knew I was going to marry him before he got out of his truck. A year later we were engaged and I called my mom and said she just inherited a 180 pound baby boy and she cried!! My parents loved him and he had asked my dad for my hand so they knew before I did!!
Mom and I started planning the wedding. I was traveling back and forth to see her to work with her in person because this was a mother daughter moment I had waited, not so patiently for and wanted to share it all with her. We spoke on the phone daily, as usual. I started to notice she was kind of edgy and short tempered with me, which made no sense because she not only lived for this moment but is the most even keeled woman of all time!! Hmmmm, it was so weird and her reactions weren't making any sense to me at all. I asked her about it and she said she was fine, that I was being sensitive. She came out to visit me and we went dress shopping and I saw her changing hmmm. My mom was a Sabino Canyon Volunteer. This meant super hero status for sure. She was that lady in the sweet hiking boots, with the cool vest and a whistle who you ran into hiking in the gorgeous mountains in Arizona. She hiked 4 days a week, at age 74, and she was in better shape than I was, or most people, really. I saw her changing and she had no muscle. Her skin was hanging from her tiny bones. She was frail and soooo moody!! When I asked her why she was losing weight she said "I hike my ass off and run up and down the mountain and I'm almost at my wedding weight." She was so proud to be a size 2 for our wedding. She was always a lean woman but a size 8, for most of her life. I'm seeing her naked and she doesn't look right and she is having weird moodiness?? I noticed her in the rest room way too often and she got so pissed at me for even bringing it up and I didn't care. I love her!! She is my superhero mom. I am all in. I HAVE to figure this out. Something is WRONG!!! She is fading away in front of my eyes and I have no idea what to do??