Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Profile: Dawn Mellon

Mothers don’t get sick.

Mothers take care of the sick.

If you’re not sure, just review the job description.

We do it all. We take care of our children, we take care of our husband, we take care of the house, and we take care of everything and anything that pertains to our family...and pretty much everything else. In fact, God specially equips us with ‘Mother’s Intuition’ because He knows the importance and complexity of our jobs.  But, what happens when someone, like an oncologist, hasn’t read the job description? When they don’t know you can’t be sick because you have two teenagers, a husband, a house and a career all of which need you?
I know what happens…because it happened to me.
The oncologists says, "You have Stage Two Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and you have a 70% chance of surviving."

And, in a split second your life changes, your children’s lives change, your husband’s life changes, your own mother’s life changes.

Now that I’ve received 100 hours of chemotherapy, dealt with all its horrible side effects, and have been in remission for nearly two years, I can honestly attest that having cancer was more of a life sentence than a death sentence.

While I could write pages and pages worth of reasons to back up this claim, I’ll share just a few.
When my husband and I told our then 12 and 14 year old children I had been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease, they were transformed before our eyes. They were no longer naïve and innocent children. They were now exposed to the ‘other side.’

It was ugly. It was hurtful. It was everything from which you shelter your children. Worst of all, not only could I no longer shelter them, I was actually the one removing the shelter and throwing them outside to a horrific world children shouldn’t even know exists.

But, as the shock wore off, and the reality of my illness played out before their eyes, I saw another transformation. I saw God sweep up my children with both hands. Then, ever so gently, I saw Him take one hand and covered them…all the while securing holding them in the other.

I knew they would be taken care of.

And, they were…by countless angels sent in the form of friends and family, some who lived as close as a block away and others who traveled from different parts of the country; all with one objective: to take care of us. They made us meals, ran errands, took my children wherever they needed to be, and most important, showered them with love.

In fact, my children got to experience things some children never have an opportunity to witness: the goodness in people. They saw a community ban together to support a family in their darkest hour.

They saw their father stand by their mother’s side, living out the vow he took 24 years before then: ‘…in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad…" He taught my son what is expected of him as a husband. He taught my daughter what she should expect in a husband.

They saw their grandmother take care of her daughter. Regardless of the fact that I was a grown woman, my mother put everything in her life on hold in order to take care of me. She, clearly, knew the job description.

So, as I reflect on this Mother’s Day, I am filled with gratitude for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who healed me from this awful disease; for my husband whose love and support I couldn’t live without; for my children who bring me incomprehensible joy every day; for my sister and son’s Godmother and for my best friend and daughter’s Godmother, both of whom went above and beyond to care for me and for my family; and for my mother’s whose love is unselfish, unconditional and never ending.

If you would like to take time to honor a mother, like Dawn, in your life please consider making a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this Mother's Day.

Make a donation online
 and a letter of recognition of your gift will be sent to the mother you are honoring with your donation. You are also welcome to mail in a donation to: LLS, Attn: Mother's Day, 8111 LBJ Fwy., Ste 425, Dallas, TX 75251.

Thank you and Happy Mother's Day from the North Texas Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


  1. Dawn this is beautiful. I did not know that you had gone thru this.. amazing. you are the epitome of elegance and class.. Doing so many things in our community.. Many blessings and thank you for your story. This is another example of "you never know what someone's going thru so don't ever judge" all my best and many prayers for you and your family... you are amazing.. thanks for sharing.

    1. Yvonne, YOU are the epitome of elegance and class, so to receive a compliment like that from you means more to me than you'll ever know. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and to share your thoughts. I think YOU are amazing!