Mama Rita's Journey
Cancer is something that most people overlook until it's at your doorstep. It's something that comes up when gossiping or watching the news. 'Oh did you hear that so and so has cancer' 'yeah it's a shame'. No one really knows until it comes knocking at your door. People don't realize and give enough respect to people who fought and continually fight cancer every day. It's something that you never want to mess with. Mama Rita's journey started in January 2017. My mom had prolonged joint pain for months in which she was told it was because she needed to change what she ate and adopt a Mediterranean diet. Little did we know she would be diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I was home on Christmas break from college when my mom broke the news to me. All she could say was that she was sorry and hope that I don't hate her for what she did to herself. Mom, are you serious. How could I ever be mad at you? This isn't something you wish upon yourself. This isn't something you can control. You can't control this. I could NEVER be mad at you. To this day, I will never forget that.
Doctors gave her 6 months without treatment and a year with treatment, but that didn't stop my mom from trying to live her everyday life. From the very start, she decided to not share the news with many people in hopes that she would overcome this with her family and move on with life like it never happened. However, that's not always how life works out. She went through various treatments that even I don't know I could handle myself. Not soon after we found out she had lung cancer, we also found out it metastasized to her brain and hip. The prognosis didn't look good for her but never did she give up and let cancer overrule her. She continued to work every day and make her customers smile even when they had no idea that her life was turned upside down. From a radiation/chemotherapy combination to whole head radiation, she never failed to keep being her goofy, bubbly self.
Janurary 2019 is when I got even worse news - which I didn't even think was possible. The lesions in her brain had come back and she was choosing to be taken off of all treatments. I should have been thankful for the two years that we actually got with her - v.s the 1-year max she was told. This time she was given 2 months.
2 weeks after that news, she had passed. She never let cancer control her life or affect who she was. Again, you never think that lung cancer, or any cancer, will affect you or your family. Cancer isn't cheap and neither is a loved one's life. The earlier we can prevent it, detect it, and cure it - the better. We can't predict the future, but if there were better preventative measures or screening procedures, my mom might still be here today. All donations and fundraising go straight back into what this cause is all about.
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