Suddenly I felt like I could no longer breathe; it was as if someone had placed a heavy weight on my chest. There were no tears, and I wouldn’t describe the feeling as sadness but instead, more as an overwhelming sense of numbness. Infinite thoughts seemed to be stirring in my brain, bouncing around from side to side, but the main thought that pushed through the chaos with clarity was one question, one word…. Why?
Perhaps it is cliché to say, but my mom is my best friend, my rock, and truly my guardian angel on earth. So, logically, the day it was confirmed that my mother had breast cancer was the day I felt that my whole world became uplifted, shaken upside down, and scattered anywhere and everywhere.
I did realize that this was bigger than me; I knew I would have to step up and become her rock like she had always been mine. I knew I would have to take over responsibilities that she would no longer be able to attend to; I knew I would have to take care of her.
I knew all of these things – what I didn’t know was HOW I was going to do them, or even if I could. I became overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown of the future. It seemed as if there would always be more questions than there would ever be answers. I have never felt so lost.
As time went by, the days seemed to just blur together. The trips to doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, radiation, the many hospital stays and health scares. I was 5 hours away in school while Mom was going through most of this, and it left me with a constant sense of guilt and worry. My mom, a strong, confident, beautiful woman, stood before me looking fragile and tired, and feeling defeated. She felt ugly, and this broke my family’s heart more than I think any amount of words could describe.
Slowly but surely things got better, her spirits lifted as treatment began to work. Her smile grew bigger and her hair started to come back – something that made her feel like things were going back to normal. The day she had her last treatment was one of the most wonderful days of our lives.
Cancer puts things in perspective. It is a cruel and evil disease, but if you look closely you can find a silver lining. I always knew my mom was a ‘supermom’ but when she got sick I really realized how much she did; our entire family realized just how much she did. She is the glue that holds this family together. And, she herself realized how truly and deeply loved she really is. We spent every day letting her know she was not a burden, and that we appreciate everything she does. We spent and will continue to spend the rest of her days through recovery, sickness and good health, letting her know how loved she is. I have made it MY life’s goal to make sure she never spends another day feeling as if she’s alone.
This is a guest post.