One day last fall, my mother called to tell me her legs were hurting. I instructed her to prop her feet up and get some rest and I would bring my newborn daughter over for a visit in the morning. But by the next day, her legs had only gotten worse. For some reason, she was no longer able to walk. An ambulance picked her up and took her to the E.R.

Blood clots, the doctors told us. They were all through her legs. Thinners could possibly take care of them, but that wouldn’t get to the root of the problem. Cancer, which she had supposedly beat a few years prior, had metastasized and hungrily spread to her lymph nodes and surrounding organs. It was untreatable. Terminal. She may not even make it through the night.


Alyson Sheppard is Lagniappe’s copy editor and beverage columnist. She was a Lagniappe intern in 2007. Alyson’s work has appeared in publications including Playboy, Esquire and GQ, and she has been recognized by the Tales of the Cocktail Sp

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