At first I didn’t know if I should write this essay, I felt selfish for writing it because I considered that I would be exploiting you, but as I write this now, with tears streaming down my face Iunder stand now why I’m writing it. I’m writing this for you and for me, for strangers to see another perspective on a situation that became a living hell it can all be. I realized cancer is blind; it does not judge you by the color of your skin or by the morals and values you live by, it never judges it only chooses. It embraces the body like a deadly spirit, which comes and goes as it pleases or it can take you away all together in one simple motion of its hand. When you were first diagnosed with stage four lung cancer what instantly came to my mind was death. I thought about how many school drama productions you would miss, about how you’ll never be there smiling at me as I took my diploma or watch me walk down the aisle at my wedding, and even just being there to tell me you love me before I go to bed at night.
I remember your first chemotherapy appointment, the autumn sunshine flowing through windows and the heart rate monitor a reassuring noise at the moment, it took up the silence and was just a kind reminder that you were still here, still with me. Your skin was as pale as the pastel moon from the night before and your beautiful mocha brown hair was gone. Only thing familiar about you that day were your intent cerulean eyes watching the CSI rerun with Aunt Lori, talking about mindless, simple things that made it seem like you weren’t in a hospital, but at home. We both wanted really wanted to forget we were here for one minute and just think that nothing was wrong. Unlike you though I felt to numb to be able to forget I just watched everything as if a movie, like a Shakespearean tragedy before my own eyes; beautiful and painful.
To be fairly honest I wanted to be so mad at you that day, for having me sit there and watch the drip of chemicals enter your body. I would feel my chest tighten up and tears burn my eyes for all I wanted to do was blame and hate you for smoking for so long, for never taking care of yourself as much as your body deserved. To selfishly feel the anger for making us all go through this nightmare. Every time I got angry I thought about how much it hurt to watch you go through all the treatments and surgeries, and all I could do was just watch. I suppose the only reason why I was angry was because I was hurting so much. I wanted so badly to be like supergirl and just make the disease stop and just expel it from your body so it never would come back again. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way at all, even though I wish it did. All I could do right then was just reach over and hold your hand and give a gentle squeeze that said a thousand ‘I love yous’ and “You’ll pull through’.
I wanted to save you mom as you took in the drugs that day, to search for the cure or the simple answer that would take it all away, but being a fourteen year old girl could only get you so far with those goals. Reason said you should have died 4 years ago on July 16th 2006 when the diagnosis was withering and the world seemed darker then the storm cloud skies that were the forecast for that night. You survived the worst to offer; you made it threw the appointments and the side effects of the tarceva and found peace in every radiation and chemotherapy treatment you had. I think back to the times when you were close to death with hollow breathes and long nights in Swedish Hospital, when you had your brain surgery and could barley create a coherent sentence. I find mercy in the memories of the hospital chapel holding your hand and staring into the candle light for my prayers and answers. Here we are now in 2010; you’ve been to my drama productions, helped me get ready for homecoming, we’ve fought over grades and made up over ice cream and movies. You’re a living miracle in my mind mom, through all of the obstacles and through all of this pain I found hope in your smile, faith in your words, and strength in your eyes. No matter what happens mom you’ll always be in my heart, forever and always.