A Hero Right Before My Eyes

Anna - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on July 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, hope, illness

March 22nd, just 20 years old and tumors are invading my body. I feel helpless, lost, and completely taken over by something foreign. The surgery was scheduled for my first spring break as a 21 year old; what should be the most fun time of my college career. For me, it was the scariest time of my life. Was I going to make it after this extensive and dangerous surgery? I woke up in intensive care wondering…

I can only imagine how it really was for my mother having cancer at such a young age. Because of her strength, perseverance and her desire to survive, my mother has given me a greater sense of hope. In college, for most people the three most important things in life are family, school, and social life. For my mother it was battling cancer. Before her diagnosis, she would describe herself as being more self-centered and naïve, but after this life-changing and traumatic event, she learned that there is more to life than just these three things – family, school, and social life. From this life threatening occurrence, my mother gave me the gift of hope.

After living with this endearing woman for twenty years of my life she has granted me a reason to believe. I remember so vividly the day that I finally realized what she had dealt with at such an early age. Cancer, at this stage in my life, would make me feel helpless. Nothing I could do to help my body heal. My heart would race at the very thought of living with this disease. I did not completely understand the effects and severity of cancer when I was told about her situation at 8 years old. As I grew older I began to realize why it was such a turning point in her life and how she grew to the person she is today.

Without her selfless love and support I legitimately do not know how I would have made it this far. Through all of my sick times and my sad times she is right by my side. When I need a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on she will never fail me. The love for all three of her children greatly exceeds the love she has for herself.

Thankfully, 26 years after her cancer diagnosis, she is healthy and living the life she hoped for. Her malignant tumor was removed at the age of 21 and has not returned since. This tragic experience changed my mom, who in turn gave me a reason to appreciate everyday that God has given me. One day I pray that I can be the mother she has always been to me. Not only the mother, but the person who lives every day to the fullest and loves others more than she loves herself. I have so much to learn, but she has made the journey a lot easier with her guidance. Hope was her reason to make it through and now it has become mine. Now I live, learn, and love one day at a time.