Seeing my grandfather fighting his last stint with stage three Leukemia cancer opened my eyes to how precious life is and taught me to appreciate every aspect of it, even the insignificant
Hearing that anyone has cancer is so shocking and difficult, but hearing my twelve year-old neighbor’s diagnosis struck me to my core. I am a nurturer by nature, I knew I needed do anything I could to ease this family’s stress at such a difficult time in their life. My daughter, who was only five at the time, asked me if we could do a barbecue to raise money for our neighbors. At that moment I knew we could at least raise money to help with their expenses. We asked our neighbors permission to move forward with a fundraiser, they agreed. I organized a group of friends to help with the fundraising. We successfully raised 20,000 dollars through a dinner, auction, and 5K run. It was a lot of work, which I was so incredibly grateful for. The father of the girl told me he was incredibly grateful that we were able to help them financially because it allowed him to put more energy into his daughter’s recovery and less energy in worrying how to pay their deductibles. The ability to empower this family helped me see empowerment as a factor of resiliency. I am overjoyed to report my neighbor won her battle and eight years later she is still cancer free. I loved seeing how our community rallied around our neighbors, adding to their ability to be resilient amid their hardship. I remember initially thinking if we could raise a few thousand dollars that would be wonderful. When I realized we had actually raised 20,000 dollars, I learned that action leads to achieving incredible
It’s astonishing how one diagnosis can completely alter the life of a family. One day you’re looking to move into the fancy houses along the coast, and the next you’re forced to consider if you would be able to afford the same home with one income. When I was three years old my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I was too young to know what was happening, but at the age of seven, when my mom was diagnosed for the second time, I began to notice a change in my family’s daily life. I was told not to sit on my mom’s lap and that she could not play with me as much as usual due to her Chemotherapy, but it was not until her third time contracting cancer that I noticed the pain she was in. I was fourteen when I finally learned about the very thing I had been trying to figure out for nearly my entire life. This burden has solely shaped the way I act and how I handle life’s many challenges, but how it accomplished this was not always a joyous experience.
When I turned 11-years-old my whole childhood began to change my life went from being perfect to everything but perfect. One day I came home to hear the news my father, my best friend; my hero was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Not knowing the struggle my family was about to take on I just began to cry. I had a million things running through my head what’s going to happen? Will everything be okay? Why him? What is going to happen? With all these things rushing through my head all I could do was cry not knowing this was least worse to come.
There are over 100 known types of cancer, and even in this period of rapid technological advancement, there is still no cure for a single one. The result is that millions of people are left with uncertainty and thoughts that today could be their last, or the last of someone
In this article, Sarah Cotterill writes about how cancer has changed the way she sees and processes the world she lives in today. During this hard time of her life she has experienced both highs and lows throughout. Cotterill is only 29 years of age but feels she has the knowledge to speak in this topic since she has experienced it first hand.
In fifth grade I found out my mom had breast cancer. I didn’t fully understand what it meant at the time, but as I got older I understood the severity of the situation my mother had to face. Eight surgeries and seven years later she is cancer free but still faces severe nerve damage and lots of doctors appointments and physical therapy. This put strains on me to take care of her and to do everything in my power to make her day easier by having one less thing to worry about: me. This was, and continues to be my driving force and motivation in school, my extra curriculars, and every day life choices.
Cancer is sometimes referred to as the big C, the C word. When people hear it, they freeze up in silence as though they have seen a ghost. In October, 2005 at the age of 3 I was diagnosed with a rare cancer that only affects 2 to 3 people out of million. After laying on the couch for several days, and complaining of a stomach I was taken to the doctor there we found out that I had Liver Sarcoma. At this time my mom was in the navy so I was admitted into Madigan Army Medical Center, but left soon later and went to Children's Hospital. I didn't really understand what was happening at that time because everything was happening, so fast that I couldn't keep up. From my Nana moving from Texas to Washington St to live with us, to being in the hospital
I remember thinking about how fortunate I was for having none of my family members to die from cancer. It was just another late night of working hard in the laboratory trying to find something. It was precisely 10 o’clock at night where I had never felt so accomplished. I had finally done it, I found the cure to cancer. At first I couldn’t believe my eyes when I had been reading the chart, but when I gave the antibodies to cancer patients their symptoms left and their cancer had been cured. I was 35 when I had found the cure and I lived in Iowa City, which is where I met my wife. I called my wife, Selena, and told her about my discovery and she started crying. It was a different type of cry..no it wasn’t tears from joy, it was tears from sadness. I asked Selena why she was crying. That day was never forgotten, not because of my discovery, but of the news that my wife told me. Our son passed away that afternoon from Lung Cancer. I was devastated. I went into a deep depression and I kept asking myself, “why couldn’t you have found the cancer just a couple hours earlier.” My story was all over the news, for awhile I never cared about anything but my son. I had received an extremely high number of money. I didn’t care about money anymore. I gave over half of it to people who needed it more than I did. I didn’t feel like doing interviews until about 6 months after his death. I learned something from my experience, In order to achieve your goal, sacrifices will need to be made. I found the cure to the most deadliest thing in the world but I had lost my most prized
This past summer, I, along with my mother and father, travelled to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. My mom had been invited to participate in the St. Jude For Life Study because when she was around six to eight years old, she had a form of leukemia called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This particular study is to help all present and future St. Jude patients and help to research for a cure. While there, I saw first-hand how cancer can affect a family. You can just see all of the stress, the worry, the exhaustion, the tiredness, the fear, and the tears on the families’ and the patients’ faces.
Summer of 2012, my grandfather was diagnosed with stage four Glioblastoma, and given only one year left to live. He had gone to have surgery earlier that week for the removal of his progressive tumor; his condition began to grow worse. The doctors got the tumor on the first try, but it was going to be a while before my grandfather felt back to normal. My family had many more trails and hardships to face in the near future.
Papa was 93 years old but in remarkably good shape, and death was the last thing on any of our minds. We weren’t fools; we knew that we only had a handful of years left with Papa. However, never did we think to count time in months. Never did we expect this to be our last day with Papa. In a way, however, it couldn’t have ended more fittingly. Papa passed away in the land that brought him the brightest days of his life, in the city that was entangled with his very
16 years old. That’s how old I was when my whole life changed. Not only did I lose a man that raised me and taught me to be the best version of myself, but I was also diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis. The beginning of my junior year was, to put it lightly, hectic. The first day I missed went by, my head pounding as I sat in a hospital room. My grandfather laid in the hospital bed and I caught word of the diagnosis. Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer. That word, “cancer”, spoke volumes within my buzzing mind. I laid my head on my Papa’s bed next to him and began to cry, keeping my face hidden because I didn’t want him to see me cry. He ran his fingers through my hair and sang a song I’d heard my whole life, “You Are My Sunshine”;
My parents had just attained engagement when they found out my dad had cancer. My dad had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma stage four at the age of 25 in1996. My mom and dad were shocked but had hope my dad would make it. My dad has inspired me to be the best I can be and not let anyone stop me. This unexpected event happened before I was born but tremendously affected me. This my dad’s unforgettable story.
It all started with our family sitting at the dinner table with my mom crying, holding crumpled up tissues with black streaks of mascara on it. My dad nervous enough to say, “Your mom has stage four breast cancer.” Those words have stuck in my head clear as a bell for the last eight years. Our faces of curiosity soon turned into fear. As an eight year old I didn’t understand a lot of words grownups said, but those burning words were sharp knifes on my throat.