By: Dylan Reece
I was riding home from middle school one day and I knew my parents were acting weird. When we arrived home, my parents sat my little sister and me down on the couch and said we have something to tell you. At this point I had many things going through my head. Both good and bad. Was it a new baby? Maybe we were moving? The possibilities were endless. My dad looked at us and said that my mom has breast cancer. I thought to myself how is this going to change our everyday life? How will it affect our family in general? My mom had eight surgeries, many chemo treatments, and many radiation treatments within a two-year period. As she was fighting breast cancer many things came up in our family. My mom is one of the biggest influences in my life and how she dealt with all our family crisis made a big impression on me.
One weekend close to Christmas my family was sitting in the living room and my mom got a phone call from one of my Aunt’s friends. My mom fell to the ground crying and I didn’t know what was going on. She couldn’t say anything. We had just found out my uncle died. This was yet another hurdle that we had to face as a family. My uncle’s death was very unexpected and hit my family hard. Many days I would call my dad to come get me out of school early because I was worried about my mom. It was mostly on the days when she had surgeries and I just wanted to see for myself that she was ok.
Shortly after my mom arrived home from the hospital after having major surgery, our family had to face the reality that my grandpa, who had been struggling with ALS for the past four years, did not have much time left to live. My grandma called my dad and asked him if he could come over. My dad went over to my grandma’s house and checked my grandpa’s pulse and there was none. My mom called my dad and asked what was going on and he said that my grandpa was dead. She broke down in tears. I believe this was the worst thing that had happened during her fight against breast cancer. We believe my grandpa wanted to make sure that my mom was ok before he passed away.
My mom is my biggest influence because she is a strong woman. She has taught me that you can accomplish anything that you want in life, as long as you set your mind to it and stay positive. That’s both my parents’ constant attitudes. They said, either we sit here and cry about it or we sit here and laugh at cancer. They chose to laugh at it and were great examples for my sister and me. This can happen to anyone and I think as long as you have a good mindset you can overcome anything. I have tried to stay positive since my family’s struggles and I believe because of that I have been able to accomplish anything I wanted.
The effect of attending a Little Pink Houses of Hope retreat has had on me is that it has opened my eyes as to how many people really have breast cancer. It can happen to anyone, men or women. There was actually a man on our trip. It has also showed me that I was not alone in that journey. It has also made me consider volunteering there because it is such a great organization to be apart of and everyone is very understanding and supportive of you.
Going to college is my opportunity to make my parents proud. I plan to work hard to achieve my dream which is also their dream. Neither of my parents had the opportunity to go to college and this my my chance to show them they raised a strong and resilient son. My plan is to study hard and get my degree so I can be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I want to attend North Carolina State University and study something along the lines of engineering. I also want to design yachts when I get older because I have always been around boats and I love them. I want to come out a winner just like my mom and her fight against brat cancer.