So I got a request about the story of my Mom, and technically that's actually something I have been thinking about sharing, just haven't found the right words.
A bracelet I bought a school to benefit Relay For life.
When I was about three my Mom found out she had Melanoma.
I don't remember much about that day they told us Mom was sick, I was young, everyone was upset and I just wanted to sleep with my mom and dad that night. However I was even more upset when I couldn't.
She went through Chemotherapy, lost her hair, and wore a wig.
She was so small a petite anyways, she just looked real small.
She had seizures in the middle of the night.
I distinctly remember hospital visits, where I would hide from nurse because they scared me.
She was a stay at home mom and took care of me during the day. But when she got too bad, I spent days with this lady from the church or that one. They always tried to make me feel at home making me peanut butter sandwiches because I didn't like peanut butter and jelly, or letting me borrow fun toys I liked.
Once I remember my mom being home along and we brought her food for lunch; She had already made lunch but had burned herself doing so.
I spent one day crying telling her how I didn't want to die. She told me she didn't want to die either. She wiped away my tears, and made me laugh telling me my tears tasted salty.
We went to Disneyland where I was bummed because I wasn't tall enough to ride Indiana Jones. We drove around LA while my dad showed us where he served a mission. About a week long vacation that became our last.
She continuously got worse. There was nothing they could do anymore. And after numerous nights where my father couldn't sleep because he stayed up watching her making sure she wasn't having a seizure that she was ok. When she could no longer stay at home, she went to the Hospice.
How much I disliked that place.
I spent most of our time there outside on the playground.
One day a lady wasn't paying attention and was talking out loud in front of my sister and I about how this "was a place where they brought people to die"
How painful and harsh those words were.
And after a painful fight with cancer, we lost.
Conference weekend April 5Th, 1997.
We went down to the hospice and watched conference with my mom.
My mom who was no longer there.
My mom who had 6 kids ranging from 4-20.
My mom who had always made my days.
Let me try her V8 that I hated.
Let me chase the ducks out front.
Let me sleep on her floor sometimes.
Made me Nolly.
Made me an awesome sunflower hat. (which is where I get my love for sunflowers)
My mom who I loved.
I believe I was in denial then, I was 4, happy, and confused.
I refused to let anyone do my hair.
I refused to let anyone to things my mom did.
I just wanted to sleep in her bed.
Believe she was coming home soon, but she wasn't.
I love my mom deeply, and believe she is an amazing strong woman, who fought for me and my family. I believe she helps me get through my toughest days.
Although she isn't here today she has helped make me who I am today.
-I can't believe it's been 12 years already.
The lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 1 in 50 for whites, 1 in 1,000 for blacks, 1 in 200 for Hispanics.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008 there will be 62,480 new cases of melanoma in this country. And about 8,420 people will die of this disease this year.
Accounts for about 75% of all skin cancer deaths.
To prevent Skin cancer:
-Wear a hat
-Use sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours as well as after swimming and sweating
-Do NOT tan, use sunless tanning lotion if you want the look of a tan
-Stay in the shade
-Avoid the sun and going outside between 10 am - 4 pm
To learn more visit www.cancer.org
To get involved visit www.RelayForLife.org
To get cute Pasty By Choice shirts or hats, or learn more about the Pasty By Choice campaign visit www.pastybychoice.com
To find out when and how you can get a free cancer screening visit www.skincancer.org
Healthy skin is beautiful skin!