Fighting cancer together

I’ll never forget how I felt when my mom told me she had cancer. I just came home from school and I was delivered the news. I was in 8th grade and what should be going through an 8th grade was an algebra test, volleyball practice, studying for the next exam. I was truly heart broken and felt panicking.

When my mom said the word, “cancer,” my whole body went numb. I sunk deeper into the couch. I was so scared. “What’s going on?” I asked them. “What does this mean?” Or “How can we fix this “To me, cancer was a death sentence, but Mom assured me that everything was going to be okay. 

This wasn’t the only time my mom had to go through treatment, before she was diagnosed with leukemia, she had breast cancer and had to get a mastectomy which was extremely frighting to her because that was one of her biggest insecurities. 

I helped her as much as I could during her recovery as I could possibly think of. Setting her appointments, grocery shopping, making her meals, taking her to and from Moffitt Cancer Center for her appointments for chemo and radiation. 

 Although breast cancer and other various types of cancer runs in my family, I never thought it could affect my mother. She was my rock and my best friend—not to mention s great advocate for educating me on being in the medical field later on in life. 

How we found out my mom had leukemia was when her and her sister went out to lunch one day and knew something was off. My mom’s sister was her best friend too, she knew her like the back of her hand. My mom went to the doctors and then later found out she had cancer and it was the nasty kind. 

I was right by my mom’s side every time she had to do chemo or radiation. Chemo sessions she had took a very long time, sometimes up to five hours. It took so long because it was through an IV and it drips in a bag very slowly, with chemo you can’t rush it or it could hurt the patient.  

After each session, my mom got a burst of energy then crashed. It was extremly hard to see someone you loved going through this. I remember asking God all the time, why is she going through this? She hasn’t done anything wrong. Most of all, I was frustrated I couldn’t just make her cancer disappear or get her out of pain. My mom was constantly in pain. My mom and I always had real deep conversations when she were going through chemo, “I don’t blame God for this at all, God is never wrong. All we can do is pray”. 

When she was too tired to get out of bed, I sat at bedside with her and scrolling through websites on my laptop about cancer treatment, research, and nutrition to make sense of what was happening to her. Besides my family, none of my friend’s family went through this so I couldn’t talk to them about cancer. 

My mom beat cancer before so I thought she could beat it again, because she was one tough cookie! With all the radiation, chemo, and bone marrow transplant her body just couldn’t take it no longer. My mom was extremely tired, and all I could do was sit there and just be there with her no matter what happens. 

The summer of 2020, I thought up Barn Owl Candle Co, a website where people can help support people that was just like my mom, donate to cancer patients or even past cancer survivors, and get a beautiful handmade candle with it too. With every purchase, a donation is made to Moffitt Cancer Center to help cancer patients with treatment and medication. 

Over the next year, I worked extremely hard on the to make a difference to cancer patients. Every Christmas I hand wrap as many care packages as I can and drive up to Moffitt in Tampa and drop them off so they can be distributed to the cancer patients.  

But once once I started my business and shared my story, I get many messages on Facebook, Tiktok, and from my website how my story touched their lives. That is exactly why I like to share my story with others because someone just like me could be going through the exact thing I went through. I am truly blessed that I can help others that are going through what I went through.  

Mom always says things happen for a reason. Of course, I wish that my mom didn’t have to go through cancer diagnosis or treatment, but I’m glad I was able to turn the experience into something meaningful to others. I’ve created a business that cancer patients and survivors can receive help financially to help with treatment and medications. 

Check out our article about “How we started”

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