“How My Mom’s Cancer Changed My Life: A Son’s Story”

“Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world and its incidence continues to rise. Each year 12.7 million people discover they have cancer and 7.6 million people die from the disease.”

(from the Huffington Post)

Both of my Grandparents on my mom’s side passed away from Cancer when I was about 6 or 7 years old.

I don’t remember much other than how awful they looked in those hospital beds, vomiting their guts out in pink bed pans, wailing from hallucinations due to the aggressive chemotherapy they were receiving and their glassy, vacant stares and cold, clammy hands.

As selfish and self absorbed as this may make me sound; up until this past February, Cancer was either some boogeyman from a distant past that had already been appeased or a mythical entity that claimed the lives of strangers around me but that I believed would pass over me or my family.

After all, if we just ate healthy, exercised regularly and avoided processed foods and known carcinogens we’d be fine right? Isn’t that what all these Natural Health websites talk about?

But we were wrong.

Terribly wrong.

Essentially, I became complacent.

I think at times we can dupe ourselves into believing that we are invincible or that we’ll live forever. I know how foolish this sounds but I never really thought about the death of my own mother even though that is a cold, scary and inevitable reality that I will one day have to face.

I’ve contemplated my own death with a morbid curiosity many times but it seemed like mom would out live us all!

I imagined her living to be a hundred and ten, frail but lively, covered in wrinkles and grey hair, hunched over, eyes wide with joy and life at the sight of her grandchildren or great grandchildren.

If not at least let her live to see her own son finally make something of himself.

As a recovering drug addict who spent the latter half of my twenty eight years hopped up on some kind of illicit substance; one who has but a few measly years of sobriety under his belt; I can’t help but imagine all the times that I’ve broken my moms heart. All of my teenage angst, all of my drug induced delusions, all of my selfish and self centered behavior, all of the shame I brought upon my family.

I have at least a good 12 years to atone for and I’ve only just set out towards the path of redemption only to find that there is a new threat that seeks to steal my mom away from me.

In February my mother was diagnosed with Third Stage Colon Cancer.

Literally the DAY AFTER my 28th birthday and FOUR DAYS AFTER her 50th birthday we received the terrible news.

I was in the car with a friend of mine and my 12 year old little brother; we were getting a ride to go up to the hospital to see her. She had initially gone in for internal bleeding but nothing could have prepared us for the news that we received.

I tell people that it seriously felt like someone took 20 lbs of roofing shingles or concrete mix and just chunked them all into my lap at the same time.

It’s been an uphill battle ever since.

Our little family consists of me, my mom and my 12 year old half brother, Conor.

His dad is no longer allowed visitation rights or custodial rights due to the excessive amount of physical, emotional and psychological abuse he inflicted on him (as well as my mom) and my mom doesn’t bother dating anyone as she’s got far more important things on her plate.

I am also struggling trying to find work as I have not been able to obtain steady employment in this small, rural community in which we reside; just barely scraping by as a freelance author for an online content marketing mill.

Since mom began chemotherapy she has been put on a LIGHT DUTY restriction and has been getting an average of 10-15 hours a week from her current employer but we simply cannot survive on a mere $600 a month.

She has also been denied her disability. Although we are trying to appeal it but have no choice but to jump through these various hoops and red tape which is a slow, painstaking and frustrating process.

To make things even worse, our only mode of transportation, a 1996 Jeep Laredo, has finally bit the dust. Because of this my mom has already missed TWO rounds of chemotherapy and it is imperative that we get back on track as soon as possible.

As I’m sure you can imagine this is a lot for me to handle on my own.

Luckily, I have been blessed tremendously by the efforts of a close friend of mine who helped promote the crowd funding campaign that me and my brother made for my mom and thanks to her efforts last month we were able to raise over $4,000!

Still, the money that we raise is what we are living off of so we have to be as frugal as possible in order to stretch what we receive so that we can stay afloat.

It’s so bizarre to me because my whole life, every waking moment, seems to revolve around this cancer now.

I cannot rest peacefully or take a moments break without fear and anxiety slipping into my mind.

Because of this I decided to make this blog.

On one hand I hope to garner support and help gain backers and sponsors for our cancer relief crowd funding page over at IndieGoGo; but also as a desperate cry for help as I struggle to hold it all together.

I have my family depending entirely on me and yet I depend entirely on them.

We cannot do this alone and I know that this too shall pass.

It’s my only hope that I can somehow scrape together a miracle for my family to try to keep my mom’s time here as comfortable and stress free as possible. Everyone tells me that when it comes to Cancer, it is imperative to maintain a very low stress level and to keep a positive frame of mind.

That is all I want.

I just want to help my mom and I want her to beat this thing.

I would give anything to have that happen. Even if it meant sacrificing myself, I’d do it.

I don’t know what to do but if anyone has any tips or suggestions please contact me. We tried arranging transportation through the American Cancer Society but the gentleman that was driving my mom decided to make a very inappropriate decision to get fresh with her behind his wife’s back and my mom filed a complaint against him and has refused services from him. The only problem is he’s the ONLY available driver in our small, rural community that could get her to her treatments.

I’m completely new to blogging and crowdfunding and all that so I hope no on thinks me as a spammer. I’m just trying to gain exposure for our crowdfunding page because even if 600 people donated $1.00 that would be the equivalent of a WHOLE MONTH of income for my mom.

If you find it in your heart to contribute you can visit her crowd funding page here:

https://igg.me/at/Hz9-ILFN2P0

and if you can’t PLEASE at the very least share our page or REBLOG this post because maybe someone else you pass this along to will be able to help.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

  • Christopher Michael

 

 

 

 

 

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5 comments

  1. thesmilingpilgrim · April 30, 2016

    My mom too struggled with cancer

    Like

    • Help Our Momma · April 30, 2016

      I’m very sorry to hear that. Thank you for reaching out. What was something that helped you make it through such a difficult time?

      Like

      • thesmilingpilgrim · April 30, 2016

        Mostly the education. She was incredibly well versed in the options and I tried to do the same 🙂 I think community and friends. But also that cancer or any other condition for that matter can’t become ones identity. If it does the stress swallows you up. Just do your treatments and don’t give it another thought and live a funny happy life 🙂 Usually it just works out and for the better. Wishing you all the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. MimiTa · May 2, 2016

    Reblogged this on Musings of a Blueberry and commented:
    Hello, all!
    I reblogged something from “Help Our Momma” yesterday about the transportation difficulties of caregivers. This time, I am reblogging the story behind the “Help Our Momma” Blog for any of you who are interested in the story. As someone with relatives who are struggling with cancer and relatives who have passed away due to cancer, I empathize with his struggles, although I have to admit that my struggles with family with cancer were definitely not as difficult to bear as his. I hope to spread his story for any of you who can relate and also to offer my support for him. I strongly encourage you to check it out, as this story gives a lot of insight into the struggles of caregivers.
    Thank you for your time in reading this post!
    Wishing you the best,
    MimiTa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BERKANALUZ · May 15, 2016

    HOLA,QUERÍA SABER COMO ESTÁ TU MAMÁ EN EL DÍA DE HOY, Y PEDIRTE QUE CUIDES MUCHO A TU HERMANITO…SALUDOS…

    Liked by 1 person

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