Intern Diaries: My Mother’s Struggle With Breast Cancer

October 13, 2011 |  by  |  Blog  |  Share

There are very vivid incidents that have fostered a home in my mind. I can remember the effect that the chemotherapy had on my mother’s body. I was no longer able to run my fingers through my mother’s long black hair; instead her balding scalp was masked by a wig. One day after a dance class, my mother took my sisters and I to a nearby ice cream parlor.  Upon seeing my mother’s wig, the teenagers who were working behind the counter began to sneer and laugh at her. I felt helpless and felt like screaming. Instead, words could not come out and all I felt were the tears trickling down my face.  The insensitivity they displayed left a wound that can never be healed.  I remember every aspect of that story because it hurt me so much, my mother was suffering and the world didn’t seem to care. (Photo: My Youngest Sister Charlene)

I stubbornly did not want to forgive those teenagers who made fun of my mother, but I needed to find a way to grow beyond it. Now, at twenty-two, I look back at that moment wishing I had the voice to educate those children about my mother’s battle with breast cancer. I believe the pain my family and I have faced comes with a responsibility, to spread awareness about breast cancer and tell all those who will listen how amazing, stunning and fearless my mom was! My mother did not try to focus too much on her battle instead she masked her pain with abstract happiness; abstract in the sense that the happiness was a fixture of her imagination. We all tried our best to be joyful and pack everyday with love and excitement. I do realize that happiness was a decision; it was a choice my mother made. 

Though she tried to wake up happy and strong, the pain always took precedent.  Unfortunately, taking care of herself always came second for my mother. Her entire life, all her hard work was invested into being a wonderful wife and mother.  It was important that we came first.  As I look back at my mother’s ordeal as a cancer patient, the pain that she went through was incomprehensible. It was evident that my sisters were scared and my father’s stress manifested into anxiety and fear. We were all in world of mental chaos and unable to imagine a life without her.

It was not easy for me to cope with my mother’s disease and eventually her loss.  I became a guarded individual and refused to share my thoughts with others.  All I felt was defeat.  My mother died peacefully at my aunt’s house, and her absence has been hard on me.  I aim to be as strong as possible, but there are varied instances where I wonder if I am good enough. “Is my mother proud of me?” My mother’s strength throughout her fight with breast cancer has given me the motivation to fight! Her spirit holds the key to my future; her strength has set an example for me, my sisters and our entire family. I am determined to continue to evolve as a woman. I seek ways to help others who feel unable to disconnect their grief from their goals.

There are times I am engulfed with sadness thinking about my mother, but I know that she would want me to continue expanding my platform of success. Though at times I breakdown thinking about her loss, I also remember the excitement she bought to my life.  Her kind presence in my life is eternal. It is vital that I see my mother’s loss as a learning experience; that I celebrate her life instead of mourning her death; that I’m thankful for the time I had with her instead of being angry for losing her too soon. I am leaning on her stories to empower my life.  I continue to look forward by implementing the determination and wit my mother instilled during my brief time with her. I miss her immensely, but I am confident in the choices I have made…after all I am a reflection of her. (Photo: My Middle Sister Christina and I, L-R)

About the author

Social Media Assistant!

Leave a Reply