This I Believe

Jessica - Berlin, Connecticut
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, illness

I believe…

Cancer – disease where cells divide at an excessive rate and become abnormal in function; malignancy; neoplasm

To you this may be just a definition but to me, its so much more than that. Both of my parents have had or still do have cancer. My father was diagnosed with cancer first. The cancer that he had was esophagus and stomach cancer that affected everything that he ate, drank, and his stomach acid. When he was first diagnosed, everyone was shocked because my uncle had that cancer and the doctors told him that he wouldn’t get it since my uncle had it. He had to go through a lot of surgeries to get rid of it, but he did beat it. Even though he is cleared at the moment, the doctors said that he is still at risk to get it again. Before he got cleared from the doctors, my mom found out that she had a rare and deadly form of cancer. Her cancer is Melanoma. When she was diagnosed, no one could believe that this was happening to my family. And to this day, no one can still believe it. I mean how can we go from having one person to two people in a matter of months? My mom is a fighter, but you can tell that she is getting weaker everyday that she is living with this. She has already had four surgeries, and she has only been diagnosed with it for almost a year. She has to take a special kind of chemotherapy which is all in shots, and not submitted by a doctor, but herself. The cancer had progressed to such an extent that she couldn’t get rid of it just by surgery, but now since she is in the fourth stage they are trying the best they can by trying new experimental medications.

I know that many people know about cancer, but no one will realize how hard it is until they actually live with a parent or parents who have cancer. It is really difficult and that they have to watch out for what they eat and how they do everyday things; like driving a car, mowing the lawn, making food for yourself; because they can cause the cancer to come back or to spread without even realizing it.

Cancer is not just a word or definition to me. It is so much more than that. I believe that everyone should realize what something means to them before it can happen to them. Cancer is a lifestyle that I may end up living by. I really hope I don’t, but that is just something that my brother and I have to look forward to if we are not really careful.

Living day to day with cancer is a difficult task. Many people give up and don’t know what to do with themselves, but not my mother. She strives to make a difference and to show people that she is not weak. She does the best she can to make sure that everyone in the house is taken care of, even if she is in pain. I am glad that my mother is such a strong woman, because if she wasn’t I would have lost her awhile ago.