“Watching my Mom go Away”

October 20, 2013

My name is Bianca Ontiveros the only girl out of four children that my lovely mother had. As tears run down my cheeks I write this essay. October 2011 in the afternoon my mom gets a call from the doctor, my family and I were expecting for it to be good news but then as the time seemed like it slowed down the doctor says “I’m sorry Maria for what I have to tell you but we found cancer in your stomach” there is when time stopped. All of us were in shock and started crying including her, we never thought that my mother would have been diagnosed with cancer she was healthy, but this proofs it can happen to anybody.
The first symptoms that my mom had were not being able to eat because as soon as she ate she vomited back the food. My mom started to lose a lot of weight and we started to worry and the doctors said it was a bacterium she had but not a lot could be done because she was pregnant.
Sometimes I blame the doctors because they had done some tests on my mom and they said she had nothing. And when she went to a more specialized place they had found cancer in the stomach. The worst thing about this was that the cancer was already on stage four which is the worst stage in cancer; the doctors diagnosed it too late.
The first thing we did was search for help; we contacted doctors who specialize in treating cancer. Luckily we found doctors who were willing to help my mother; the first thing suggested for my mother was to take chemotherapy. As she took chemotherapy there were symptoms that it was just hard for us to see and in some cases it was devastating for my mother. One of the secondary effects of chemotherapy was the falling of hair follicles, feeling dizzy, weakness, nausea, tiredness and more. This was the most difficult part of the stage to get use to the chemotherapy.
A couple months after taking the chemotherapy we saw some improvement; my mom was eating again with no pain and no vomiting. We were happy, and so when the doctors did tests again it had showed the cancer to be reduced. So good were the results that the doctor said she could take a rest from the chemotherapy, I remember seeing my mom’s face with that sparkle again, that moment was beautiful. She was given three months almost four months without chemotherapy. We had faith that she was going to get through this just fine; as the months passed by we were filled with joy because we were sure that she was going to be cured.
Next thing we know the symptoms start to come back and that alarmed us. This time it was worse, the cancer was more advanced. She had to take chemotherapy again but it did not seem to be working as good as it did at the beginning. My mother became weaker and weaker each day, she had no strength and for the first time she fainted. When she told me about it I remember her saying how horrible it felt to faint, and how scared she was. I did not want to show my mom all the pain I was feeling for her, I had to stay strong for her.
Ever since she fainted it was more visits to the hospital my family and I practically lived in the hospital. I would stay with my mom in the hospital even if I had class the next day.
It is hard for me to talk or write about this. My mom was really tired so she decided to stop chemotherapy; the doctors had said that there was no solution anymore and that she only had a couple of months left. That was devastating for me, when they transported her to a Hospice was when I really started to feel even more depressed but I did not want to show it because I did not want my mom to see me suffering. The doctors had to place a tube down my mom’s throat so when she vomited the tube would suck in all the liquid. My mom seemed so happy because she did not have to go through the process of vomiting, but the two days after she could not speak. The tube had irritated her throat; it was really sad trying to understand what she wanted to communicate to us.
On March 4th, 2013 at 2am my mom was taking her last breaths, the social worker had told us earlier to not be devastated in front of her because it would worry her. The social worker had told us to show my mom that we let her go in peace and that she has nothing to worry about. I could not take it, I cried so much that my eyes and my head started to hurt and people told me not to show it to my mom, it was easy for them to say it but they had no idea the pain I was feeling. My mom was breathing faster and faster and faster and—I saw her slowly go away from me, right there the world fell on me, I wanted to go with her. I did not want to let go of her, I stayed hugging her not wanting to let go. My mother was the most precious thing I had.
I could not go with my mom because I made a promise that I will take care of her baby Dylan who is 1 year old and Jose who is 9 years old, I was now a mother to them. For the first couple of weeks I was just locked in my room, I did not want to talk to anybody, I did not want to eat and neither go to school. Luckily there were a lot of people helping us with my younger siblings. One day then I realized that my mom does not want to see me suffering and that I need to stay strong for my family. So I got up and went to school, but at the same time I questioned myself “How will I go back to school? With what face? What will teachers and friend do when they see me? Will I be able to do it?” A lot of things went through my head but I know that my mom even though she was not there physically with me she was still helping me spiritually.
My lovely mother Maria Ontiveros, who rests in peace, was somebody to admire, she was seen as a person who stayed strong and never gave up. She was a mother who went through a lot; she came to the United States to give her future children (us) a brighter future. She worked in fields and warehouses and yet she still maintained to give her children all they needed. But the most precious thing that my mom could give us was her love. For many people my mom was a wise woman, the loving mother, the brave sister, the caring daughter, the best friend, she helped a lot of foundations especially St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Me as a 12th grader, I decided way before my mom went away from me that I was going to dedicate my senior project to her. I decided to do a talent show to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that night of March 29th, 2013 I raised almost 300 dollars. I knew my mom would be proud of me by helping out the children with cancer; the talent show was such a success that I people want me to do another one so in the summer I will be doing another talent show for the same cause. As part of my senior project I also am sending the children notes and letters of inspiration telling them to never give up. I plan on helping the children with cancer for the rest of my life; I will be sending them my song album singing them inspirational music. I really do want to help people who have cancer, that is why I am also going to do Relay for Life in the summer.
I know my mom is proud of me right now. Attending the University of Washington will help me reach my goals and will make my mom feel even more proud of me. I want to go into medicine especially into Pediatrics to become a Pediatrician. I also want to do cancer research and maybe even put up a foundation in memory of my lovely mother. I also want to get maybe a minor in music, singing inspirational songs for the ones who are going through a hard time. I know a lot of people say this but I really mean it “I want to make a difference in the world and peoples lives.”
Bianca Ontiveros