Let’s Talk About the ‘C’ Word

Cancer the definition: Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancer develops when the body’s normal control mechanism stop working. Old cells do not die and instead grow out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. This could take form in a mass of tissue or tumor, though some lumps aren’t always cancerous.

Erin Miller, Reporter

Date started: Monday, October 21, 2019

Cancer. A deadly disease that can affect our body and eat away at us. For some, cancer can be put into remission; for others, it’s a death sentence. My name is Erin Miller and my mom has stage three cancer. The purpose of this section of the student newspaper is to give students going through the same thing as I am someone to relate to and give them support. I know cancer isn’t something everyone wants to talk about but to be honest, if it helps someone then I’m going to at least try.

My mother has stage three cancer: a seven centimeter tumor on the right side of her body. Everyone assumes that when you say Cancer that it’s the worst case and there’s nothing that the doctors can do, but that’s not always true. On Monday, October 21st, 2019 my mother went into the hospital to start chemotherapy and get her colostomy bag. She’ll be in the hospital for three days. This is the story of her journey.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 

Yesterday at 1 pm, my mother went in for surgery. My father was at the hospital until 10:30 pm until she was out of surgery, and he was positive that she was okay. This afternoon I’ll be able to go visit her in the hospital. Last night was a waiting game as far as how she was doing in surgery. However, though it took a while, the doctor seemed pleased with the outcome. I’m excited to be able to see my mom for myself and see with my own eyes that she’s okay.

Due to the chemotherapy her immune system is extremely weak so I have to be careful with being at school because it’s easy for me to get sick. Depending on how my mother is doing at the end of the week will depend on if I get a puppy or not. That puppy’s name is Bella. I really feel like Bella would be a good addition to our family simply because my mom won’t be all by herself if we have Bella. My father is not too keen on having Bella in our house because she’s only nine months old.

Friday, October 25, 2019 

My mom successfully made it home from the hospital on Wednesday. The at-home nurse comes in every three days to check on her and change her bag. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Today Mom had a doctor’s appointment to meet with the chemotherapy doctor. Her first chemotherapy appointment is tomorrow, where she’ll get her first IV treatment. 

 Thursday, October 31, 2019

On Wednesday, my mom got her first Chemotherapy treatment and seems to be doing well. She hasn’t been sick or had a problem yet. I’m hoping that it stays this way but I’m not sure. Honestly, she seems tired a lot. On Tuesday, the home nurse came in and mom was overwhelmed because she had just been told she was going to be out of work for an entire year due to her cancer.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mom’s second bout of Chemo started yesterday and I can truly say that she hates it. She says it tastes like metal and she looks pale.

Monday, December 9, 2019

My last entry was short and that’s because I didn’t have much to report. My mom is going to have Chemotherapy on Wednesday until Friday. I’m extremely worried about how this will affect her considering the last round of Chemotherapy took a lot of her strength.

The cold weather bothers her. Mom is angry because when she wants ice cream or iced tea she can’t have it because of the chemo. She hates sitting still and wants to be able to move around but after ten minutes her system can’t handle much. On Saturday she had a burst of energy and decided to make a ton of cookies, which made me happy to see because that meant she was feeling slightly better.

Money is tight for us now after mom got her cancer and that’s making things very hard on her because she’s worried about bills and food. I love my mom but I really wish she’d take a break from  being mom for a bit and focus on herself. My sister is a helpful distraction when it comes to getting me out of the house, which is nice because times like these we need a distraction. I figure I’ll probably update this on Friday after mom has had chemo and maybe see if she’d want to write about how she’s feeling.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

After mom’s 3 week break from chemo, she’s starting to have more energy. She was supposed to have chemo on Wednesday of last week, but the state cancelled the health insurance and that’s been a tough battle. I love my mom and I hate to see her in the amount of pain she’s been in recently. Her chemo treatment from three weeks ago took a lot out of her. Over Christmas break, we got a puppy and her name is Bella. Bella loves to lay with mom and cuddle. This adds joy and also annoyance to mom’s day because Bella is very demanding and takes up a lot of time. An update on mom’s condition is that now the tumor is also cutting off her kidney and could cause kidney failure in the near future. On top of mom’s missed chemo and kidney failure, my grandmother is currently in the hospital in D.C going through organ failure. Life couldn’t get more tiring right now, but I also still have to focus on school even though I have all of these things happening to my family. The more bad things that happen, the harder it’s getting to see the good in daily things I used to enjoy.

Monday January 27, 2020

Last week mom had Chemo and I went with her, which was an experience. Mostly mom slept a lot through Chemo. What worries me most is the after-effects of the Chemo. Mom hasn’t been doing well because she’s tired, and while she wants to do things, she can’t. Fortunately, our puppy Bella is a great comfort to mom.