Recently, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She sat me down on my bed and told me the bad news. She kept reassuring me that everything was going to be fine. I sat emotionless. Eventually, I started to ask about the facts; how far along she was, what happens next, who else knows, and whether insurance was going to help. I still felt empty inside. It wasn't until later, when I was by myself, that I let any kind of emotion loose. That’s how I am. I will never show my pain, because I need to stay strong for her, and for everyone else.
Moms are pretty cool. They birth us, feed us, clothe us, and even punish us when needed. They put their wants and needs after their children's wants and needs because they’re selfless, amazing human beings.
Eventually, though, they need to be thanked. They need to be shown that all the work they accomplish is appreciated beyond words, actions, and even gifts.
I never thank my mom enough for the struggles we faced growing up. Things she hid from us to keep our innocence and childhood alive. I never thank my mom enough for the things she does for me now; staying up late to help me with homework or a job application, constantly telling me how amazing and worthwhile I am and helping me through every problem under the sun. Whatever it is, I can count on her to be there for me, yet I will never be able to show how much I appreciate everything she has done.
My mom has been very open about her journey. She’s made Facebook posts and gone to meetings, and even tries to lighten the mood with “My kids call me uni-boob” (which is definitely true). She has had such an amazing outlook on this situation, but that does not mean it hasn’t been emotional. She is using this tragedy to increase awareness for others going through the same thing and to prove life is always full of disappointments and inconsistencies. What matters is what we do with those situations.
Remember, ladies, know your bodies, feel yourself up constantly, don’t miss a mammogram or PAP smear and, if something doesn’t seem right, go to your doctor. That is what made my mom’s journey so much smoother. Below is one of many Facebook posts my mother makes, reminding her friends of such things:
My mom is the strongest person I know. She is the person I go to for advice for everything. She is my best friend. When my mom started losing her hair, I shaved my head in solidarity. But that doesn't make me brave. My mom is brave for staying positive in such a hard time. My mom is brave for gaining awareness. My mom is brave for continuing to be a mom.