It wasn’t the summer I hoped it would be. Just before my senior year of high school, my mother and grandmother both were diagnosed with cancer, my mother with colon cancer and my grandmother with pancreatic cancer.
That summer, I did what I could to help out my mom. I drove her to the Cancer Center in Oconomowoc or would pick her up from there. I did chores, made her food, and did anything else I could to me her feel comfortable. Sure, I wasn’t the perfect child. I still got on her nerves, but I did mean good and I didn’t want her to be angry. I just wanted to he be happy, healthy, strong and everything to go back to how it was.
At the age of 46, having cancer was a tremendous shock to my mom and my family. I can remember when my parents told the results of the test done on the tumor the doctors found.
I was in my mom’s hospital room visiting. My dad sat my brother and me down. Then he said it the word no one ever wants to hear “cancer”.
Given she had cancer she pushed through it. She still went to work, and did what she could to help around the house. It didn’t go unnoticed by my dad and brothers. My dad would tell me “yeah that’s your mother for you, she’s a trooper.” And I would agree and nod my head.
Now my grandmother is a whole different story. She, like my mom, is a tough girl. But unlike my mom, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2002. She was more reserved when it came to her needing help with things. She is one of those people who never asks for help and doesn’t want people to feel sorry for her. She just wants the family to be happy and not have to worry about her. I look up to her in that way—being able to handle things by myself without the help of others. But I also understand the importance of help from others because I don’t know everything there is to know about life… not yet.
It wasn’t the summer I hoped it would be. But I feel like I learned a lot from my summer. Not everything will go perfect forever and when it doesn’t you have to realize it and take action to help support the ones you love and make what they are going through easier and stress-free.
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