March 30, 2017 marks my mom’s one year anniversary of being cancer free! As excited as we are about her being cancer free there are still battles she faces everyday that no one sees.
This is a subject very near and dear to my heart. Cancer not only affects the person who has it, but also the loved ones who have to watch them go through this horrific time of their life. Here’s her story.
Overcoming Cancer: My Mom’s Story
Did you notice changes in your body that made you feel like something was wrong? I was suffering from a lot of pain in my wisdom tooth. I went to have it pulled not knowing that was the start of my cancer.
When did you find out you had cancer? In March of 2016 the doctor called while I was at work. I told him I was driving he said pull over. I did so he said he’s sorry to have to give me bad news but my biopsy came back positive for cancer. I’m like ok where do we go from here he said to come in and we would talk about it but when a doctor tells you they will make you look as good as you do /did before all the surgeries take it with a grain of salt because they have so many patients they forget what they told you I’m not saying that’s their intentions but it happens so just expect the unexpected and know that your life will be changed forever. Now for the ones who get lucky good for you but not everyone is lucky.
What was the worst part of treatment/How did you feel after surgery? I really don’t remember how to felt after surgery, I had great doctors I remember that! The worst part wasn’t the cancer it was the treatment (radiation).
The loss of my upper gums, my nasal cavity and my eye socket (right eye.) Hair loss due to radiation and the birth of a feeding tube *lol* They also removed muscle tissue from my lower right leg that I now have to carry around as a badge of honor the rest of my life. The muscles from my left leg was used to reconstruct the upper roof of my mouth. Not to mention the 108 lymph nodes taken from my neck, being cut from ear to ear kinda like a necklace *lol*. I say it like its a joke but it’s very real, but having a sense of humor keeps me sane.
How did you feel after radiation? In the beginning it was fine, but what they fail to tell people/me is that radiation has several side effects such as lymphoma,tighten skin, ear problems, swallowing, dry mouth and speech and it’s not limited to one area of your body.
Did you ever lose hope/faith? Or feel depressed? Yes I felt hopeless, I felt ugly and also suffered from low self esteem. I was very depressed to the point of suicidal thoughts and worthless thinking such as “Who’s going to want me now that I look like this?”
How do you feel today, now that you are cancer free? Had I not had a strong family in my life my mother who was scared to death of losing me, but stood firm in her belief I wouldn’t have made it. And a daughter who dropped everything to see about me. Both people of strong faith who never let me lose the little faith I had, I thank God for them of both.
What advice would you give someone with your type of cancer? To never give up hope. I am not saying times won’t be hard because they will. Yes I still have times when I cry and my heart hurts, but I pull the God in me on and I shine. I have been told that a diamond has to go through a lot of pressure to become beautiful.
Granted Squamous Cell Carcinoma is no joke and wasn’t really heard of but its real, so if you or anyone you might know even thinks they see signs of sore throat, sores in the mouth, cheeks or tongue or even an ear ache please take it seriously because cancer is taking so many lives.
For those you that have lost a loved one to Cancer my heart goes out to you. And for anyone going through Cancer now you can do it! Keep fighting, don’t quit. It’s hard, you’re going to cry you may even lose your faith, but you will get through it! Here’s to overcoming cancer!
If you have any other questions feel free to leave a comment below. Or if you have a more personal question you can go to my contact page. Also if you need help finding resources for tube feeding the Oley Foundation is a great resource for that.