the ccc: cancer, chemo, and coming home


Cancer is a funny thing.

The human body can repair a cut and heal a bone. It can run marathons and lift twice its weight. It can create life. It works in perfect harmony knowing when to breathe, knowing when to beat. But with cancer, your own body, your own cells, work against you.

Human beings are truly just as fragile as they are remarkable.

As bad as it sounds, cancer has always been distant to me. My grandpa (papa) had cancer, but I was too young to fully understand the depth of it. I’ve known people who know people who have cancer. I’ve seen it in movies and shows (ironically I have been watching Breaking Bad). But when my mom was diagnosed, I was shocked. The kinda shocked that brings you to your knees. I know the statistics, I know the odds, but not here I always thought not us; I didn’t realize it could happen to my favorite person in the world.

So, I knew I had to be home. Chemo is no joke and my mom needed me. And to be honest, I needed my mom. Watching her go through this from Ohio was too hard on me. So 2 carry ons and 3 checked in bags later, I made it home to be with her for her first round of chemo.

And it’s been difficult. The last thing I want is to see my parents grow older, but to grow older and get sick? I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. There’s been lots of tears and lots of worry. There hasn’t been a minute where I don’t question why but in the midst of this chaos, there has been so much good.

Good people. People we love and cherish – like my Tia Isa who has been with my mom every step of the way. People she lost touch with, people she had falling outs with. People have been reaching out to bring dinner, to check up on her, and to come over and pray. People have been so supportive and offered so many kind words and pieces of advice. I have been so moved (to tears 99.9% of the time) by all of the support and care my mom has received.

There has been so much love.

But isn’t that what this is all about? The love from people is what keeps us going. The relationships we make in life are what will see us through. Not money or possessions. Family. Friends. Friends that become family. They are what make us truly happy. Truly wealthy. To be blessed with the gift of true companionship. These hard times give us a chance to see people for who they truly are, sometimes good and sometimes bad. They remind us to be thankful for what we do have.

Throughout this whole process my mom has demonstrated true strength. She has been radiating positivity and light and I honestly don’t know how she is doing it. What I do know is that I want to live a life where I am surrounded by love and family. I want to live a life being positive and fostering true friendships; to be good to people. Hard times will come but I want to grow from them, not let them defeat me. I want to live a life like my mom: full of love, light, and friendship. I still have so much to learn from her.

So that’s just an update because I know it’s been awhile since I posted (and I said I would write every week…oops).

Things are rough but you gotta roll with the punches and find the good in the bad, take one day at a time, and always, always, always surround yourself with love.

P.S. if you have any chemo tips, please feel free to comment or email them to me. Thank you!

36 thoughts on “the ccc: cancer, chemo, and coming home

  1. Your folks are precious to my family as well. We are available for whatever need you have whether it’s a hot meal of some sort of home issue that Dwain can help with.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your mom and I were such good friends when we were young. I had no idea she had cancer. Thank you for your beautiful post. I live in San Antonio and have for 35 years, but will definitely make my way down to the valley to see her. I’m a cancer survivor of 17 years, myself. I’d love to talk to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our prayers for your beautiful mom…she is an inspiration & God-filled person who has always given so much to others especially her love. Please let us know if you need anything we are here for you all❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Samantha! I have a daughter Samantha Joanne we call
    ” Sammy Jo “.
    I went to school with your mom and our dads were friends. I saw your mom two years ago, she came to my dad’s funeral. I wish I had more time to talk to her but as you can imagine I was otherwise preoccupied. My heart hurts for her. Chemo is evil and good wrapped together. My grandson was 3 when he was diagnosed with a rare aggressive form of leukaemia. For the next 9 months we lived at San Antonio’s children methodist. We almost lost him. But God!! He is 9 years old now and healthy but the chemo affected him. He will have to take heart medicine for the rest of his life, he has a minor learning disability. He has ADHD. He had to repeat a year of school. He is the sweetest most loving kid ever and next season plans on playing soccur at our YMCA. We live in Kerrville. He is striving to be the best Peyton he can be. I stayed with him those 9 months because his parents had to work to keep insurance. I had to work too but our community heard about our delema and raised close to $38.000 to help me quit my job and fully take care of Peyton. Amazing what tradegy does to people. We see that happening today. God bless you sweet Samantha! Kiss your Mama and hug her tight from me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Samantha, what a beautiful gift you have with words! And, what a blessing I am certain you are for your precious mother! Even though I have not visited with your mom in years, I think of her often and always with much fondness! I was a dama in her quincienera and marvel at the wonderful friend she was to me! I am so saddened that she and your family are struggling with this horrible situation! Please, know that your mom and you are in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers! Please, give your mama my love! I plan a trip to McAllen (from Austin) this fall and will plan to check in with her to see if she is up for a visit! I send my love!



    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your mom to the moon and back. We had such fun times when all of you were just kids. I will always treasure our friendship. You are an amazing young lady Sam, you are your mother’s daughter! Faith love and hope, above all Love, we will keep all of you in our prayers – The Perez Family

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prayers for your mom and your family, Samantha. God is great. You’ve got a great support group to help you with whatever y’all need. May God watch over Irene and place His healing hands on her.

    Liked by 1 person

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