How My Mom’s Cancer Changed Me

Written by Hayden Head (center) of Lansdale, “How My Mom’s Cancer Changed Me” was the third-place winner in our 2014 Essay Contest’s middle school division. 

My experience with cancer has affected me a lot. First when my mom was first diagnosed with stage three cancer my whole view on life just changed. I became socially impaired and barely went outside. All I ever did was stay inside and play video games because it would take my mind of everything.

During this phase I began to develop a twitch some like some other peoples was like random movement. About a year later I went into therapy because I never talked about my mom’s cancer and they thought it would develop self harm issues. During therapy I was evaluated and they thought I had Tourette Syndrome. This also changed my life because I knew that I’d never be like all my friends whom I wanted to be like. So like I said I became more and more socially impaired as the years wore on.

About four years ago My dad, mom, both sisters and I moved to Lansdale. I think Lansdale is where my mom’s cancer took a turn for the worst. For the first couple months of living there she started getting more and more tired. It was mainly because of the chemo. After the first year she started having trouble walking and she started needing to use a cane otherwise she would fall and we couldn’t get her back up. So this got me thinking you know I’m not going to make the wrong choices not going to be around smokers.

But after our second year in Lansdale I started to smoke. It relieved stress; though I never became full addicted to it. While I smoked for stress relief I remember a promise made to my mom that I would never smoke so that I didn’t get lung cancer like her. Though she never smoked a day in her life she got cancer from second hand smoke from her parents who smoked all the time around her. So in turn I stopped smoking after getting caught multiple times.

There some nights when I contemplated not waking up ever again because I never thought that id see the sun again after being in the dark for so long. Not literally but I felt like I was trapped inside darkness. So in Lansdale I made bad choices but became more social. All I ever wanted to do was go outside. I had one friend that knew me and helped me through everything that happened.

So she went into remission but the cancer came back after a couple of months. Then it became worse and worse as she had to go to physical therapy. This really affected me because I never thought I would ever have to see my mom endure such pain. Sometimes she got so sick that she went into a medically induced coma. So I eventually became really depressed and bottled all my emotions up inside even after five years of therapy.

I still am in therapy. Mainly because in September of 2013 at 2:13 am my mom passed away in the hospital with my entire family gathered around her. She never got to say goodbye because she was in a coma when she passed away. We had a choice of taking her off life-support or keeping her on and not being there if she just died suddenly. So we chose what would make her most happy. So she went peacefully as her soul departed on its long journey to salvation with god. I no longer make bad choices because I know she wouldn’t be happy. So for anybody who is going through what I went through I say don’t start drugs or smoking because neither of them really help at all. Just think what would the person whose affected do?