Next month, OVS will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at Buena High School in Ventura. I, for one, am very excited to see our school be so involved in something that could quite possibly change one in five of our lives in the future. I cannot wait to see people of all different worlds join together to fight one of the biggest killers today and have fun while doing it. To top it all off, this will be the first cancer-related cause I have attended, and I’m quite nervous. I’ve always avoided them because I have a problem confronting what has thoroughly turned my life upside down more than once and stolen the one person who, above all, meant the world to me.
My mom was a remarkable woman. Standing at 5’10 with tight curls the color of embers she wasn’t a woman you could easily forget. She fought for what she believed in and would seldom take no for an answer, which only made her all the more admirable to all that met her. We were all shocked when the news finally reached us. My mom had ovarian cancer and had up to two years to live.
How could someone so strong let cancer take a hold of her?
For three months her body deteriorated from a combination of chemotherapy and the cancer itself to a frail shell of a woman with only one spot of her once fiery hair barely holding on. A woman who had once stood so tall and who was so outspoken was confined to a wheelchair and an oxygen mask at all times. It was at that time I was taken to go live with my dad after living practically my whole childhood with my mom.
No more than four months after her diagnosis I was called into the hospital to see my mom propped up onto a hospital bed unconscious and on a morphine drip. My heart must had fallen through the floor and my stack through the roof. This was my mother. A once divine and beautiful woman was spending the last few moments of life in a lifeless shell. How could something do this to her?
This disease, this cancer had taken everything from her. It had taken everything from me. A perfectly good woman was drained of everything and left to suffer, and left those around her to suffer. No one meant as much to me as my mom did. She was my only friend and the only person I could talk to, that I can still talk to. For ten years she served as my idol, now seven years later she serves as my inspiration.
Cancer isn’t just a disease that affects one person, it affects everyone around that person. It’s ruthless and merciless and won’t stop at anything once it grabs a strong enough hold of you. If there’s any way to help those who suffer from it, or have been closely affected by someone who suffers from it, it’s to get the word out. Cancer kills. Help others, help yourself.