Reaching for my star

Reaching for my star

Haley Grooms, Editor

Almost everyone knows someone with cancer. At age five, my mom became that someone.

I never really understood much when I was younger. My thoughts and ideas consisted of what the next episode of “Dragon Tales” would be about and when my friends could come over. Even if I did not understand at the time, I will always have burning memories etched into my past.

My mother is and has always been a fighter. With surgery being a common topic in my household, I was used to taking care of her. This time, though, it was not something a band-aid or pain medicine could fix. It was stage 2 breast cancer.

With the diagnosis in mind, she went into a clinical trial. They hit her twice a day with radiation to the point where nobody could sleep next to her. I missed my mom. Cancer took her away from me.

“Hearing the words, ‘I have cancer’ are life-shattering. Hearing them twice, however, broke me.””

— Haley Grooms

It was a daily routine. Go to school, come home, watch my mom gradually cripple in my bed and go sleep with my little brother. This went on for months.

Finally, her cure was found. I thought it was magical. I never thought there was a cure for cancer, but my mom overcame the tumor, anyway. Life was blissful at this point until 2014.

She got cancer. Again.

Hearing the words, “I have cancer” are life-shattering. Hearing them twice, however, broke me. It truly turned my life upside-down.
I was angry. One of the people I love the most in this world was kissing death. I already had one encounter and really did not plan to have another.

Cancer killed my family, too. My dad was worrying and anxious, while my mom was always sad or trying her best to be strong for me. My little brother did not understand what murderer was among our mother.

My mom decided that she would undergo one final surgery to remove the cancer. I was absolutely terrified. My mom was my world and I never wanted to see that ripped away from my 12-year-old hands.

Cancer was defeated on her final stand.

I will never forget viewing my mother with tears in my eyes; in absolute awe of the miracle of a survivor in my view. Cancer tried shattering my mom, but she shattered it instead.

I do understand that some people do not get as lucky as I do, and it breaks my heart. I wish there was a cure for everyone with cancer and that they can live a happy life.

It is unfair that such good people have to deal with cancer and other deadly diseases.

I do not think I will ever underestimate someone’s willpower. People are capable of amazing things. Surviving cancer is a major battle and it takes a special kind of warrior to persevere through the fight. It only takes one strand or tumor to change the lives of many.

My family was lucky. I am blessed every day that my mom is still beside me and living life to the fullest. This experience taught me to strive for the stars even if they seem too far away. My mom reached her star, her cure. All kinds of cancers are killers, but hope and love can help slay all enemies.