Six years ago, my mother came into our yellow-painted kitchen and informed me she had cancer, again. This time it was thyroid cancer. If you have ever been bombarded with unexpected and unfortunate news, you’ll recognize this feeling. At 16 years old and having just my mom as my caretaker, I selfishly thought about myself and how I would survive alone. Who will feed me? Who will pay the bills? Who will help me apply for scholarships?
As time progressed and my mother weakened, my older sister in college didn’t have time to be there, so it was up to me to make sure she took her many pills, ate correctly and secure happiness, for both of us.
I wish I could have done more than partake in typical rebellious teenager acts. Instead of talking back, I wish I talked only sweet things to her. Instead of shutting her out, I wish I invited her to the movies and to school functions. However, when the cancer dissipated, joy seemed to fill our home again, which overcame the dry and bitter in the air.
Presently a senior in college, when I had the opportunity to help other cancer patients, I was overjoyed with gratitude. The CareBOX Program is a unique and hidden gem in the capital of Texas. I’ve never heard of anything like it and the staff behind this program are remarkable, driven human beings. These ladies help me become a better and stronger person every day. The compassion in their eyes fuels this program.
Cancer affects everyone and everyone has a story to share. Now you know mine.
This post is not only for my independent mother Lola, but also for my kind grandfather El who passed away in 2012 from bone cancer.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Whatever happened in our past and whatever will happen in our future, these moments define who we are. Embrace it.
Jasmine, CareBOX Program Marketing and Design Intern
Tags: cancer, carebox, thryoid cancer