On September 28, 2018 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer...
Something so common nowadays, still I would never expect it to hit home as close as it did. On September 28th, she asked for me and my brothers to come over. Not thinking anything of it, we went to chill with her. She told us she went in for a normal routine exam to find out she has Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I watched her choke on her words as she put on this front trying not to get emotional in front of us. I looked at my brothers who looked just as confused as I was. You mean to tell me you had to complete biopsies to determine cancer and the type. You did this all by yourself with no one to go to these exams with you. I was bewildered. I couldn't believe that the women that I am so close to was going through such a life-changing event and I didn't notice.
I listened to my brothers as they asked her a million and one questions. Some she could answer and some she couldn't. I may have even faded out during the conversation with my thoughts. My body was warm. I was afraid. I didn't have much to say. Afterward, they sat around telling her she was strong, she got this, and how much they love her. I had to leave. I left and I didn't want to be around it. I didn't want to hear "everything is going to be okay" because if that was true we wouldn't even be in this situation. Once I was alone I cried. I asked God so many questions that night. I was trying to figure out the bigger picture. Why her? Why now? What are you trying to teach us? Cancer doesn't run in my family. None of the women had breast cancer before. So why her? Why now? Exactly one year before that in October 2017, my mother had to bury her mother. I wasn't sure she even had the strength to now deal with cancer.
There is a thin line between being selfish and caring. I had to distinguish the difference. I am not the type to run away from my problems, but I was avoiding my mother. I didn't want to hear it or physically see what cancer can do. I didn't want to volunteer to go with her to appointments and I didn't want to be the person that she vented too. It was weird and I even feel bad admitting this. My mother and I are tight. We have a close bond, she is my best friend. It hurts to admit that I didn't want to be around her. I knew if it was the other way around my mom wouldn't even have left my side. But I refused to see the strongest person in my life get knocked down. This lady's strength is indescribable I am not even going to attempt to put it in words. So imagine how different it was for me to see her sick with cancer. I refused!
I forced myself to ask her "how are you", I forced my self to ask about her doctor's visits, and I damn sure only asked about the chemo treatments when I felt like it was necessary. I had to learn how to be there for her in other ways to avoid being selfish. Laying in the bed with her while watching tv, ordering out food making sure she is eating, and gossiping about my own life. Those little moments was how we bonded. I wanted to be there with her but avoided talking about what she was going through. I had to find other hobbies for us so that I can still be around her. I hate to even admit this...
My mom is amazing, to say the least. It wasn't long after she was diagnosed when cancer started taking its toll. She lost all of her hair by the holidays. But never cared. I watched how her skin got darker. Her fingernails and toenails turned black and some even fell off. She was losing her natural glow due to the drugs that she was now taking in chemotherapy. She would post sticky notes on her mirrors in her bedroom of motivational quotes and bible scriptures. She picked her own self up when she got knocked down. She is a warrior. She only spoke positivity and would check all the negative what-ifs that came her way. Her relationship with God only got stronger and I have never seen her walk with her head held up so high. It was like she turned into this magical queen that couldn't be touched. This lady is amazing and I get teary-eyed thinking about her. I pray to God that I can learn to have the same level of strength that she has. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers is truly, truly an understatement!
She went through five months of chemotherapy, scheduled surgeries, and recently completed her radiation treatment. She has one more scheduled surgery coming up and then she can officially say she is done! My girl is a survivor. Currently, doesn't have any cancer in her body! She proudly lets everyone know that crosses her path, that she is untouchable. You can't mess with her because she fights like a girl!