This I Believe

Amanda - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope

I believe in the power of hope. Hope, according to Webster, is a feeling that what is wanted will happen. To me, the word means so much more. Hope is not a feeling, but more of an urge, a thing on your to-do list. Something in my mind just clicked, and in that instant, I knew that I had to stay strong. I knew that I had to keep my mom.

I remember that day when I knew something was not right. My mom and I were always close. We would watch movies and talk for hours, laughing together about things only we understood. All so fast, my mom was complaining about pains in her breast. Of course, my family and I thought that they were just heart pains- she got them all the time. Just to make sure, my mom decided to see the doctor. When I came home from school that day, my mom’s eyes told it all: it was more than just a heart pain- she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The next day at school was the longest day that I would ever have, for when the clock ticked 3:10, my mom would arrive from the hospital, bearing news of the treatment plan. When the car pulled up, my mom’s drained face peeped out of the car. Pouring from her eyes were tears, tears of chemo. As an eleven-year-old, I remembered saying to myself, “What am I doing wrong? Why is everything not going the easy way?”

The day of my birthday, my mom was in the hospital, getting a port installed for the chemo. I saw people going through chemo in the movies, but I never actually got a true glimpse of the devastation until it hit me. After the first chemo, my mom came home and slept and vomited the whole day. I stood by her the whole time, asking if she needed me, but I knew that being there was just enough. In that moment, I knew I needed my mom, not only for that day, but also for my eighth grade graduation and my first date, just to name a few. There was so much my mother did not see yet, and I knew that I had to stay strong, not just for my sake, but for my mother. Sure, my mom’s hair was falling out, but her personality and life never came out with it. She had hope, and that hope spread to the rest of my family.

My mom beat the cancer and is now in remission. Although the cancer is gone, she still faces the side effects of the chemo, like her newly diagnosed neuropathy. I know my mom will get through this, for a day never goes by when she is not smiling. In that smile lies the hope that she shared with all of us. Whenever I feel lost and torn, her smile reminds me to stay strong and to have hope.