The Maroon

Opinion: Finding light at the end of the tunnel

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Opinion: Finding light at the end of the tunnel

Morgan and her mother pose for a family picture. The two have a stronger bond due to the mother’s experiences with cancer. Photo credit: Morgan Winstead

Morgan and her mother pose for a family picture. The two have a stronger bond due to the mother’s experiences with cancer. Photo credit: Morgan Winstead

Morgan and her mother pose for a family picture. The two have a stronger bond due to the mother’s experiences with cancer. Photo credit: Morgan Winstead

Morgan and her mother pose for a family picture. The two have a stronger bond due to the mother’s experiences with cancer. Photo credit: Morgan Winstead

Morgan Winstead

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This month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is very meaningful to me for two reasons: my mom is a breast cancer survivor and it’s my birth month. If I’m being honest, cancer triggers me because I’ve seen what it can do to people. The thought of going through the process of being diagnosed, undergoing chemo, etc., sends chills throughout my whole body. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to remember those who have won, lost and are currently going through their battle with this disease.

My mother was only 23, with a one-year-old son, when she was diagnosed. If it was not for my brother throwing a toy truck at her, she may have never found the lump. She said it was the size of a golf ball. When she went to the doctor, it wasn’t good news; my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.

Since my mom had Stage IV, she had to undergo chemotherapy. Her body was going through a lot during this time. She lost her hair, became weak, lost weight and much more. Given the severity of the cancer, the doctors told her that it was good that she had a son because she would no longer be able to have children. After six rounds of chemo and four rounds of radiation, my mom was in remission.

Today, my mom is 51 and has been cancer free for 26 years. She gave birth to me about ten years after being told she couldn’t have another child. My mom often refers to me as her “miracle child”. In a way, it’s like both my brother and I are miracle children. He helped find her lump and I was born after being told she couldn’t get pregnant.

Coincidentally, my mother, a breast cancer survivor, gave birth to me during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think it happened for a reason though. My birth was not only a miracle, but a reminder to my mother that she won her battle with cancer. October is a time for my mom to recognize her strength. I believe I came into the world when I did to show my mom that miracles do happen. It’s a miracle that she survived Stage IV. I mean after all, if she hadn’t kicked cancer’s butt, I wouldn’t be here writing this article.

Whenever this month comes around, I reflect a lot. I think back on all the struggles my mom had to endure. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been to battle cancer and care for an infant. My mother is the strongest person I know. Her story is a reminder that anything is possible. This amazing month is a time to celebrate my mom’s life, as well as mine. October, for our family, is full of positivity, thanks and celebration. Life can be very hard, but positivity makes hardships durable. My mother is living proof that anyone can overcome the worst of the worst. All you need is a little positivity and determination.

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Opinion: Finding light at the end of the tunnel