I get to meet people of all ages as they face a breast cancer diagnosis and every one of them is afraid when they first hear THE C WORD. I met Davida when she was admitted to the inpatient Oncology Unit and she was SCARED--a single mother with three children at home who did not have time for a life-changing diagnosis. Her cancer was fairly advanced and she had to have chemotherapy prior to surgery to shrink the cancer; then a mastectomy with reconstruction and then radiation therapy.
She is always quick to say that things could be worse pointing out the things she is thankful for. She encourages others to get mammograms and spreads the word about early detection and awareness. Her sons are proud of their mother and have pitched in to help a great deal since her diagnosis, even emptying surgical drains and cleaning the house.
Davida is an example of someone who has overcome many obstacles in life and maintained a pleasant, optimistic nature. I asked what she wanted most. First she said “just being here with my family,” but when pressed she said “I could use a trip to the spa after everything that has happened over the past year. “ She has not had any time to relax and recover and just needs time for herself. Her 17 year old son said they never had a real family vacation would love a trip to Disney. Her 13 and 15year old boys mentioned a PlayStation as they haven’t had much time to just be kids over the past year. Davida likes to shop but finances have made that difficult. I know a gift card would make her very happy. Above all the family wants to be together this holiday season and start a new year with their mother healthy and recovering from cancer treatment. They have learned just how precious each day as a family is. Thank you for sharing Davida’s story and thank you for keeping her family in your hearts this Holiday Season.
Jen Sili, Oncology Nurse Navigator, Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial
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