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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Cancer impacts senior's faith, unites family

[media-credit id=173 align=”alignright” width=”225″]Cancer1[/media-credit]

“Mom has cancer, don’t call her.” This was the text my brother, alumnus, Roman Avila, ’11, sent me June 12. My mom, Becky Avila, was diagnosed with a positive diagnosis of breast cancer. My mom was formally diagnosed with A 6 MM, Grade one, Intracystic Papillary Carcinoma with Focal Invasion.

I was in utter shock hearing that my mom had breast cancer. It was one of those scenarios you play in your head that you never think would come true for your family. My mom gave me a hug and started crying when I came home. We held each other knowing the hardship we were going to have to endure together.

Cancer rocked my world. Not necessarily for the worst but for the good. Nothing like this has happened to my immediate family, and everyday I felt like we were growing together and encouraging each other daily, it was great.

For three weeks straight my life was consumed with cancer. The family was glued to their computer screens trying to become breast cancer experts. It was a high-stress time for me, and I knew it had been for my family as well. This was not an easy time in no means, but God had definitely helped bring peace.

It was interesting to see myself go through a time like this. My mom having cancer did not truly hit until two weeks after I got the news. I was laying in bed with my mom, and I just started to cry. It was an overwhelming feeling but my mom encouraged me by telling me that God has her in his arms. The surliness of the situation was hard to grasp, and when I tried empathizing with her it just made me more sad.

My grandma died in 2001 due to colon cancer. I was innocent to how cancer affected the body, the only thing I knew was that my grandma became bald. There were creepy white busts that sat in her room with fake hair on them and that’s all the memory I have of cancer.

My mom had both her breasts and 5 lymph nodes removed during her surgery. Results came back later showing that one of the lymph nodes they removed was positive for cancer. This meant that my mom was going to have to go through chemo therapy. Cancer still had not finished its cycle on our family.

The surgery took place July 31 to have a double mastectomy. We arrived at St. Agnes at 5:30 a.m. Greetings came from my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s. We waited in the waiting room for three hours as the surgery and recovery took place.

Afterwards, my mom was admitted into a room where she stayed for two nights. Friends and family came during those two days and brought flowers and food as we sat with her tired body.

Along with my mom being strong, my brother and dad have also been a constant support for me as well. We have all stepped up to play the role of “mom” as our mom was ill. We became stronger and gained much more appreciation for my mom for everything she does for us.

My mom is my hero. She is one of the strongest people I know. She lost both her breasts and her hair, and she still has the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. She has lead by example throughout this whole time and has shown a fearless face as she walked through this tribulation.

My mom began chemo treatment September 4 and will have to go through four rounds of chemo every two weeks. This process has made it more real for me that she has cancer. Her hair is gone and you can see the weariness she feels, yet she still holds onto that genuine smile.

After my mom went through her first round of chemo, she and I went to our hair dresser to chop off our hair for locks of love. I wanted to share this moment with my mom because we knew she would lose her hair and I did not want her to feel alone through this. The Friday before her second round of chemo she ended up shaving her head.

If I was asked to describe this time in my life in one word, it would be blessed. Friends and family provided continuous love and support for my family. God showed his faithfulness to us and has taught me what it means to truly make him my rock to lean on.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @han_avila. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more opinions, read the Sept. 23 article, Sophomore rethinks American culture due to Duncan shooting.

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