For My Mom,

I’d like to take this opportunity to move away from the usual themes of my blog and discuss something that has affected many people.

Where I live, April is Daffodil month. A month where the Canadian Cancer Society raises money for research through the sales of Daffodils and Daffodil pins.

I wear my pin for my mother, who was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer just over three years ago.

It’s becoming less and less common for someone to not be affected by cancer. Many of us have family members, friends, friend’s family members, or someone else we know, touched by cancer. Some are even affected by it themselves.

It’s nearly impossible for me to describe the feeling and experience I had when I found out my mom had cancer. I remember I had just spent a few hours talking to my favourite professor and then my dad picked me up from school. My mom had him break the news. I can’t even imagine the weight and pain he must have felt telling our family, but I can understand why my mom didn’t want to do it.

When I found out, I broke down in tears in the car. I don’t cry in front of anyone, and yet there I was, bawling in the car because it just wasn’t fair. For so long I had been the rock of the family, and now I thought I was going to lose my mother before she had the chance to see all I could accomplish; before my sister graduated high school; before my brother got married. My first thought was of this fear that my mom would miss so much, and out of everyone I knew, she deserved it least.

I wasn’t there when my dad told my siblings. My mom told me later that she could hear my sister howling and screaming downstairs. My brother didn’t immediately react, but I have no doubt that he spent nights sobbing into a pillow.

As my mom prepped for her treatment, she had to go on a low iodine diet. Essentially she didn’t eat for a week, because she couldn’t eat food that she liked or satisfied her hunger, and the food she could eat, sucked.

When my mom went through radiation treatment, she couldn’t stay at home because my sister was still too young. At a time when my mom needed us most, we couldn’t be around her.

My mom is the strongest woman I know. She pushed through her diagnosis just like she has pushed through every other obstacle in her life (and there have been a lot). My mom is not one to complain, neither to your face or on social media.

I am so unbelievably proud of her.

I share this because she has her annual check up today. At the beginning of each Daffodil month, my mom will go through a whirlwind of doctor appointments, and I sit at home waiting to hear from her. She’s not the only one though.

Every day, cancer patients are getting treatment, waiting for results, hearing good news, and hearing the bad. Someone just found out they have cancer. Someone’s children are crying more than they ever have. Someone’s spouse is on the phone calling family members; saying the words over and over again, but never becoming numb to the feeling.

This is for my mom. This is for the cancer survivors, and those still living with cancer. You are the strongest people, and I won’t even pretend to understand what you are going through.

But I will wear my Daffodil with pride, and when asked who I wear it for, I will proudly say, “my mom.”

-Red Hot

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