It was an early saturday morning when my parents woke my sisters and I up. They said we all needed to come down stairs so they could talk to us. We were sitting at the kitchen table when my mom told us, she had been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I remember crying for about an hour straight and i just kept thinking why? Out of all the people in the world why was it my mom, one of the most important people in my life. that was just the beginning she still had so much to go through. My mom had multiple surgeries some major and some minor, chemo and radiation. I remember when she came home from the first treatment she was weak and very tired. I was so scared for her.
An ambulance came and carried out my mom. I didn’t know what was going on, so many questions running through my mind, what was wrong with her, was she going to be ok. I was scared, more scared then I had ever been. My sister Sheridan who was 8 asked me “what’s happening?” through tears. On that day a little piece of me began to change because if I let her see my fear that would not help anyone, and so even though I didn’t know what was happening I responded “everything is going to be ok” even though I did not trust my own words.
When I found out that my mother had cancer, I was in shock and did not know how to take everything in. She decided that her being diagnosed with cancer will be the best thing that ever happened to her, not the worst. At 37 years old my mother was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer. She discovered the cancer at a very early stage, which was very lucky and satisfying to hear. The way my mother discovered she had, it was an insane experience for the both of us. She started having pain in November of 2016 in her left armpit; she did not think of it as such a vast deal so she just ignored it. Nevertheless the pain got worse over time and eventually she went to see a doctor.
Most people will experience something horrible in their lives. As a young child, I was ignorant to the idea that bad things could happen in my life. One cold day in November, my Mom said that she was feeling a little sick and had some pain in her neck. After some tests, the doctors came up with a diagnosis, it was devastating. Even after the evidence from X-Rays and MRI scans, my family was trying to find any reason to deny the truth. My Mom, Gricelda Martinez Ozuna, the strongest and most determined person I knew was fading away and I knew my time with her was shortening every passing moment.
You never realize how evil cancer truly is until it affects you or your family. I was four when cancer first affected me, stage four leukemia. My two year old cousin Conor was on the verge of death, and I had absolutely no clue. For the first nine months of his fight all I knew that he was sick, I assumed he had a cold, not fighting for his life. When I was five my mom sat me down to tell me that Conor was not going to make it, and that my brother and I were going with her to Albany to visit him. His bones were sticking out, his head looked like a bowling ball, and his skin was a pale blue. He looked like a child in a concentration camp during World War II. Honestly if you were to think of what a dead child looked like, that was him. That was the first time I realized that my mom was right, and that Conor was not going to make it.
During the 2007 I got great news, I was accepted at UNC-Charlotte. Meanwhile, I had no idea 2007 my world would be turned upside down with bad news. My mother’s broth and sister were both diagnosis with Cancer. What’s most painful both siblings pasted away six months apart? Meanwhile, more bad news came my way when I mother was diagnosis with Cancer and Renal failure. I talked to my mother’s medical team, they voice they never seen where three siblings having cancer all at once in the same year, just months apart. Consequently, my mother survived her cancer just after two chemo treatments. I came home every weekend to help with her care. One promise to my mother I made was not to drop out of school, it was important to her that I finished
There is no mincing of words, nor is there a phrase with gentle connotations to adequately articulate the emotional, psychological or physical place that cancer forces upon you. Quite frankly, battling cancer sucks. The individual engaged in the battle and their support system can choose to crumble or rally. To crumble is to become angry and resentful. To rally is to rise up and use your experiences to help others. I was fortunate that my support group didn’t give me an option to crumble. I was raised in a family, in a church community that focuses on service. So, at 14 battling cancer, I was told that the only way out was through and to get through the turmoil of cancer, I was expected to find a “cancer” mentor and find a way to give back.
As soon as my eyes woke up to the bitter cold of the night and stars covered by black blanket of clouds, I knew that this was it. I had tried to prepare myself that day, but I was at school when it happened. The moment the intercom came over the classroom, “Hailey Wooldridge needs to come the office, her mom is here to check her out,” my heart stopped. I was able to make it to the office without losing my composure, but as soon as my eyes met my mom standing there with tears in hers I lost it. Right there standing in the school office, the food gates of heaven opened up in my eyes and I could not stop the rivers from flowing. My best friend since kindergarten had died. All the planning of moving in together when we went to college was down the drain. The late nights of watching horribly filmed scary movies was done. My heart was broken, and the pieces are still not taped together properly. Two days later was her funeral. Her mother had asked me to say a couple of words about her during the service, but the thought of standing next to her lifeless body talking about her and not to her made everything seem surreal. By the power of prayer and numerous amounts of tears, I stood up from my seat and walked lifelessly to the podium that viewed hundreds of people waiting to see what I had to say. I do not know how I got through that speech without hysterically crying, but somehow, I talked like I was having a conversation with Serra once again. In front of me, I
I sat there cold and motionless, not even the sun on that warm summer day could bring me to life. “There is nothing left to do. This is the end.” The words played continuously in my head like a broken record. I had to find the willpower to stand, walk back into the hospital, and say my final goodbye to my mom.
One of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced has been my battle with cancer. When I was 21 I was preparing to submit my mission papers. What was supposed to be a simple physical exam, turned into an unexpected battle. In October 31, 2013 my doctors diagnosed me with papillary cancer. I had surgery, and a couple weeks after had radiation treatment. Months later I was told I was cancer free, and I received my mission call. I was assigned to serve in the Colorado Denver South Mission. Unfortunately a week after I got my mission call, I was told that my cancer was back, and had actually spread to my lymph nodes; its next target would be my lungs, thus making my goal to serve a mission seem further from my reach. I went through the process
I woke up on Christmas morning to the sweet smell of coffee coming from down the hall. I jump up with excitement put my red fluffy slippers on and make my way to the kitchen telling myself that today is going to be an unforgettable day.
Being a cancer survivor presents many persistent challenges. Despite those challenges, I graduated high school with honors. Hope for an uncertain future comes in part from the salvation I find in being a college student.
After a while of sitting in my grandparents living room mindlessly playing with my toys I decided to get up. I walked towards the commotion going on in the small hallway connecting the living room to the kitchen. The gathering of people consisted of my mom, dad, grandpa, and grandma. Curious about what was going on I walked over to the group. I reached my mom and looked up to see that her eyes were bloodshot, as if she had been crying. I looked over to my dad and his face, like everyone else's, was grim. During this time I kept hearing one repeating word, cancer. I started to listen more closely to the conversation going on around me because even at the age of seven I knew that cancer was bad news. I listened intently and heard my mom explain how she had colon cancer.
Being diagnosed with cancer I knew I only had one option and that was to take it to the Lord and when I did, wow! He not only healed me He delivered me too of addictions! I repented of my sins to Jesus with my whole heart and He healed me! Not instantly it was a process for months, everything except drinking and smoking that He did
Little Bella was born with a terminal disease, and she was not expected to live for long. As her parents make the painful decision to remove her from life support, they give her a final kiss only to be stunningly surprised by what happens next.