It is January of 2005, and I am on my way to Columbus for my first chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of last year. My two sons, Jeff and Jason are coming along with me. Jeff is driving, Jason is in the passenger seat and I 'm in the back seat of Jeff’s 2002 GMC Envoy. I glance out the window and watch as we pass the Shoe. It was chilly and the winds were powerful on this winter day, snow was covering the trees and the ground, it was a beautiful sight of a winter wonderland. We are on our way to the James Center, where I 'm receiving my treatment.
he foundation of my personal hell was laid that day. I was in absolute terror for the remains five minutes of the trip to my house. I slowly reached for the handle to the car door, but my hand was trembling so badly I missed the handle on my first attempt. The calm tone of my father’s voice was in dissonance with the anger he outwardly displayed. He told me to go straight to the basement and wait for his arrival. I heard my father speaking to my sister in hushed tones. In order to understanding of what they were discussing it was necessary for me to get closer to the two of them, but I only dared to venture to the third step from the bottom. I was close enough to hear what they were saying from that distance while also being close enough to
I didn’t know what to say or how to react. How can someone like her who was genuine and compassionate go through this. Someone that always placed their needs above her own. She continued to work at the hospital while she was going through her chemo treatment. She was a great role model never showed any signs of weakness in front of her kids.
Childhood injuries were common every now and then when I was younger. One of my first injuries I remember having was on a swing set. Around the age where I was a toddler and had a baby sitter, we would go outside and play on the days it was sunny or warm. So the first thing I would run to is the swing set. After this point I would start swinging and think that it would be impressing to do a stunt. (Till this day, I still do this stunt on a swing set) The little rascal that I was thought it would be impressing to lean back and wrap my legs around the swing chains with my head closer to the ground. So, as the swing was coming back down, I had my head a little too close to the ground and scraped my forehead in the dirt. After this happened, I ran inside crying my eyes out telling the babysitter that the swing set needs a time out. This is one of the injuries I will never forget.
My childhood and my innocence came crashing down when my dad told me the worst sentence that I’ve ever heard in my life, “Your mom has cancer”. There is nothing, no amount of mental or physical pain you can inflict me with, that could compare to what I felt in that moment. My dad gave us the news after my mom was taken to the hospital in the middle night because she could not breathe. So while we were hoping for her to breathe safely, we get hit with an even worse situation. I was a mess.
When I was seven years old my great-grandma was dying, and she was in a lot of pain. A couple years ago she caught this disease that we had no idea about, so we went online and read all about it. It turned out that her cancer came back, however, my family thought that it could go away since it disappeared last time. The next week it got worse, so we took her to the doctors. The doctors said that she couldn 't get rid of her cancer, and that she didn 't have a lot if time to live.
My freshman year I went out for football even though there was a high percentage I wasn't going to play due to my last year traumatic brain injury. I went to practice and helped with everything and it was fine, less fun than I remember from years past. I got cleared and played and it still didn't seem like it used to due to me be scared at every hit against my head I was going to get another concussion. The year ended and I decided it was going to be my last year playing football. I thought to myself that I was going to need find another sport. I have always been interested in wrestling so i decided to go out for it. I meet my coach on the first day and his name was Teague Fenwick. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into on entering
Over the past four years I have seen more doctors than an average person will see in a lifetime. From endocrinologists to neurosurgeons, I have tirelessly sought medical treatment for multiple traumatic brain injuries I incurred at a young age. Through my personal struggle I learned that there is no adequate treatments for concussions and traumatic brain injuries in the State of New Mexico. Although the lack of these services forced me to seek treatment outside my community, it has become my main motivation to return to my community and share the knowledge I have been fortunate to receive through these many experiences.
One day, on the way home from school my mother gently informed us that she had cancer. It was shocking but at that age and time in my life, it just didn’t seem to sink in that my mom would pass away. I was extremely close with my mother. I used to spend every moment I could to be in her presence. When the rest of the family went on camping trips, I would stay with my mom.
If it were cancer, there would be flowers, cards, and covered dishes. Instead, it’s a secret passed from my mom to me in soft whispered words. It’s vague words to brush it off, shuffle it into the closet, hide it under a rug. Accident. Fine.
A significant challenge that I faced in my life occurred when I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 8th grade. Due to the injury I faced, I was unable to attend school for about a month, and I had to undergo multiple therapies over the span of two years. During this difficult time in my life, I learned that sometimes people judge a person unfairly. While I went to therapy, I looked normal. I did not have any physical obscurities, and this gave people the assumption that I was “normal” and that I could pursue the same activities as them with the same vigor. Nevertheless, I still had a serious underlying health issue. Thankfully, I learned that I am an overcomer and that not all people are inconsiderate. I learned that with determination, I
Last year was the hardest year ever for me, to hear a call saying my mother had cancer was scary. I knew she would beat it because she’s strong and I knew that it hurted her but she never showed it. Me being the daughter of my mother I knew i had to be strong for her, she always told me to “walk by faith and not by sight” so although the doctors said one thing I knew God had other plans.
For example, Butler (2000) conducted a study on a seventeen-year-old male who had an extremely traumatic brain injury. A year later, he did not response to command and fully dependent for all care needs. He needed self-care; he remained grossly disoriented, perseverative and distractible. He begin treatment with on 5 mg olanzapine in, which he saw a total positive response. He gained auditory comprehension, sustained attention, participation in activities of daily living and in the initiation and maintenance every day interactions. This research shows the impact one may have as a result of a brain related injury and the important of clinical research and medication to treat such condition.
March 2005, I sat in the passenger seat of my trailblazer staring out the window trying not to look at my husband, Pedro. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I recalled the words he just said to me. I tried to hold in my emotions so he would not think that my faith has been weakened. I knew God had not put this on our family but I still had questions and I still wanted answers. The diagnosis changed my world and how I see it. Pedro’s cancer had returned.
Everyone has had someone close pass away. Well in my case, it was my best friend Ethan. He pass away in 2013 from a mistake by the doctor. I know that he always wanted me happy, but that wasn’t always the case when he first was gone. let me tell you about our mind boggling years with Ethan.