In 2008, when I was 11-years-old, my mom was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer for the first time.
I remember this day like it was yesterday. It seemed like any regular day for a sixth grader: woke up, went to school, came home from school, waited for mom and dad to come home and make dinner (always hoping they would order pizza instead) – you get the picture.
But this was no ordinary day.
When my mom came home from work, I knew something was wrong.
She would usually come home with a smile on her face asking how her baby girl’s day at school was. But instead, she fought back tears and went straight to her room. And I had no idea why.
Bad day at work? Probably. I’m sure it’s nothing, I thought.
But when my dad came home from work, my mom asked me, my dad, and my sister to join her in the living room. That’s where she gave us the news.
“The doctors found a lump in my breast. I have breast cancer. And I’m going to start chemotherapy soon.”
Fast-forward a year, my mom finished chemotherapy and radiation, becoming cancer free.
Fast-forward eight years to 2016…
Hello again, cancer.
My mom’s breast cancer returned, and it spread to her lung, liver, spine, and bones. She is currently diagnosed with stage four metastatic cancer, about to start her seventh treatment.
But we’re going to be okay.
I say we because cancer is a journey you fight together. Whether it’s your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, or simply a loved one in your life battling cancer, they need to know they are not alone, and that they have your support.
As someone who has watched their mother battle cancer twice now, I’ve learned ways to support and cope with it, and my hope is to help others who have a loved one battling cancer who feel completely lost.
I tend to do so by covering these topics in future posts:
- How to address your initial thoughts and reactions when hearing the news for the first time
- Things you can do for yourself (easing stress)
- Tips on how to help your loved one at home
- Advice on exploring treatment options and traveling with someone who has cancer
- Coping with hair loss and chemo brain
- Gift ideas for someone who has cancer
- And more
This blog is a daughter’s perspective on coping with mom’s cancer.