Dear mom,

It wasn't easy watching you lose your hair or be on bed rest, in fact, it was terrifying. I almost my mother, my best friend, and my everything.

I was young when you got diagnosed, a freshman in high school, barely a teenager. When I found out you were diagnosed I had to mature and prepare myself to take care of you. People seemed to flee when they found out as if it were contagious.

My heart broke when I seen you come home from the hospital after your first surgery, you looked exhausted and pained. I wanted to help and be by your side through it all. Your battle now became mine too. I promised myself no matter how hard things got I would be there for you.

When you had your first chemo treatment I went, I missed school to sit and keep you company for eight hours. I watched you have medicine pumped in you, this was the start of your healing but little did we know things would be harder than expected. I remember one time getting out of school and walking up to the cancer center and visiting you while you were getting chemo.

I remember so many awful yet beautiful moments we shared through your journey.

You picked me up from school one day, your hair was gone and you were bald, It took everything in me not to cry but I just smiled and told you, "you look beautiful" but in reality, it was awful what chemo was doing to you. You were forgetting things, you couldn't walk and you could barely eat. I wanted to give up, but it wasn't me suffering, it was you, and I knew I needed to be strong. I took care of you during the day, and when you were asleep I'd kiss your head and head off to bed to weep in fear of losing you.

We were driving in the car once and I remember you crying because you thought you were going to die, I felt that mom, my heart hurt and I wanted to tell you that everything was going to be okay but I was starting to believe it wasn't. I tried to comfort you but it was hard.

As you finished chemo and went through radiation, your health started to decline rapidly, I tried to prepare myself for what I thought was going to happen, but it didn't. You were stubborn and refused to give up, thank you, mom, for not giving up.

I took care of the kids through your journey, from cooking to helping them with their homework. I felt like a mom but it's what they needed, they were young and didn't understand what was happening.

I tried to be the best sister I could, and when your cancer came back in 2018 I didn't want to go to college, I just wanted to stay home, work and take care of you. It was hard leaving for college, I feared no one would take care of you as I would, the thought of losing my mother and my best friend constantly lingers in the back of my mind.

I've learned from all of this to never take life for granted or family, especially you. You are strong and beautiful, I've never loved someone more than I love you, thank you mom, a million times thank you...

"You are a survivor, though your journey isn't over I know with strength and faith you'll make it" (Philippians 4:13).

Love,

Your proud daughter