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Help my sick mom. Ayuda para mi mama.

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La versión en español está abajo

My mother and father came from Peru to visit us in Urbana every 2 or 3 years as usual, and the last time in June 2021. My mother asked me if she could stay and I happily said yes of course! This of course would change their immigration status but I had already planned to start the American permanent residence for both of them. My dad returned to Peru and my mom stayed with us.
We have had many fun and not so fun moments, Mama is not afraid and she throws herself into everything new, she is an adventurer. We went hiking to different state parks, she took English classes for a while, she loves taking care of plants and her flowers, going to church and socializing.
I realized that she coughed a lot. I had already noticed this even before she came to see us the last time. After the cough, it was sneezing and shortness of breath... I told her that this was not normal, she just wanted to cover her neck, she said it was the air conditioning. I made an appointment for her to be seen by a general practitioner, at my insistence they gave an ENT (ear, nose and throat) referral. There, after a simple tomography, something suspicious came out in her neck, and they would do more tests and she would have to return, that same weekend she felt more pain and I took her to a convenient care and after being examined, the doctor sent us to the emergency room, there they did a CTscan and told us roughly that it was cancer, immediately the doctor gave us a referral to oncology. I saw Mama calm, I saw her as if she were something else that she needs to resolve, period. Thus began this journey.
When they gave me the name of the oncologist who would see her, I quickly googled what her name meant, Sahai=helper (name originally from India) I told Mom and we went to the first appointment together on July 8, 2022 with great desire to know what the plan would be, we did not know anything about cancer until that day, Mama's diagnosis is DLBCL acronym in English (diffuse large cell lymphoma). After 6 chemotherapy she was fine for a month and a half but relapsed, showing on her last PET scan the most prominent area of his neck and new lymphoma in his right lung, her oncologist then referred us to Chicago and see a lymphoma specialist, now they have another plan, it is about this sophisticated treatment called CAR-T, a treatment that takes approximately 2 months from the collection of your blood, hospitalization, continuous appointments and monitoring until the day you are ready to leave the Chicago area. We live 2 hours and 40 minutes from the University of Chicago, that is one of the reasons why she could not return to our home, until she is out of danger, since the treatment itself has her risks. This implies that we will have expenses in transportation, food and housing.
Mom misses her children Gladys, Fiorella and Fernando and her grandchildren Veronica, Jofer and Mathias and her husband Fernando Chavez Soriano who all live in Peru. Her children will try to obtain a visa to visit her, meanwhile her communication is via WhatsApp.
I as the oldest sister assume full responsibility regarding the financial side and her medical care. I take Mama to her appointments. Now I have to ask for hours or days or weeks off from work to be able to take her. I make sure Mama is well and so far in good hands with the medical staff that has touched her. I have my work team (my second family) that have been very understandable with this situation.
Although it is true Mama is very positive and doesn't get carried away easily by emotions even in these moments, she worries if it causes me discomfort, as I told her, for me it is an honor to be able to take care of her. My 20-year-old son Ted also helps by transporting her to appointments, my other 8-year-old son Fermin observing her changes into a grandmother and my life partner Shailesh who we shared together for almost 14 years. We all make a team and we have known how to organize but we have also faltered. New people have come into our lives since all this started and they have made us feel loved and make us want to move on.
I would appreciate in advance the help of those who know Mama or know me and want to support us in these difficult times.

Rachel Chavez

Mama y Papa nos vinieron a visitar como siempre desde Peru cada 2 o 3 años y la ultima vez en Junio del 2021, Mama me pidio quedarse y yo Feliz le dije que porsupuesto que si! esto claro cambiaria su situacion migratoria pero yo ya tenia planeado iniciar la residencia permanent Americana para ambos. Papa se regreso a Peru y Mama se quedo con nosotros.
Hemos tenido momentos muy divertidos y no tan divertidos, Mama no tiene miedo y se lanza a todo lo nuevo, ella es una aventurera. Fuimos a hacer caminatas a distintos state parks, tomo clases de ingles por un tiempito, a ella le apaciona cuidar de plantas y sus flores, ir a la iglesia y socializar.
Me di cuenta que tocia mucho y esto ya lo habia notado incluso antes de que ella nos viniera a ver la ultima vez. Luego de la tos eran estornudos y falta de aire…le dije que eso no era normal, ella solo queria cubrir su cuello, decia que era el aire acondicionado, entonces le hice una cita para que la vea a un medico general, a mi insistencia le dio una referncia con ENT(oido, nariz y garganta). Alli despues de una tomografia simple salio algo sospechoso en su cuello, y harian mas examenes y tendria que regresar, ese mismo fin de semana ella sentia mas dolor y la lleve a un convenient care y despues de ser examinada la doctora nos envio a emergencias, alli le hicieron un CTscan y nos dijeron a groso modo que era cancer, inmediatamente el medico nos dio una referencia con oncologia. Yo vi a Mama tranquila, la vi como si fuera algo mas que ella necesita resolver y punto. Asi empezo esta travesia.
Cuando me dieron el nombre del oncologo que la veria, busque rapidamente en Google que era lo que su nombre significaba, Sahai=helper (nombre originario de la India) se lo dije a Mama y fuimos a la primera cita juntas el 8 de Julio del 2022 con muchas ganas de saber cual seria el plan, nosotros no sabiamos nada de cancer sino hasta ese dia, el diagnotico de Mama es DLBCL siglas en ingles (linfoma difuso de celulas grandes). Despues de 6 quimiotearpias estuvo bien por un mes y medio pero relapso, su oncologo entonces nos refirio a Chicago y ver a un especialista en linfoma, ahora ellos tienen otro plan, se trata de este sofisticado tratamiento llamado CAR-T, tratamiento que toma un aproximado de 2 meses desde la coleccion de su sangre, hospitalizacion, citas continuas y monitoreo hasta el dia que este lista para abandonar el area de Chicago. Nosotros vivimos a 2 horas y 40 minutos de la Universidad de Chicago esa es una de las razones por la cual ella no podria regresar a nuestro hogar, sino hasta que este fuera de peligro ya que el tratamiento en si tiene sus riesgos. Esto implica que tendremos gastos en transporte, alimentos y vivienda.
Mama extraña a sus hijos Gladys, Fiorella y Fernando y a sus nietos Veronica, Jofer y Mathias y su esposo Fernando Chavez Soriano que viven en Peru. Los hijos trataran de obtener una visa para visitarla, mientras tanto su comunicacion es via Whatsap.
Yo como hermana mayor asumo total responsabilidad con respecto al lado financiero y de sus cuidados medicos, llevo a Mama a sus citas, tengo que pedir horas o dias o semanas para poder llevarla, asegurarme de que Mama esta bien y hasta ahora en buenas manos con el staff medico que le ha tocado. Tengo un equipo de trabajo (mi segunda familia) que han sido muy comprensibles con esta situacion.
Si bien es cierto Mama es muy positiva y no se deja llevar facilmente por las emociones incluso en estos momentos, ella se preocupa si me causa incomodidad, como se lo dije a ella, para mi es un honor poder cuidarla. Mi hijo Ted de 20 años de edad Tambien ayuda transpotandola a citas, mi otro hijo Fermin de 8 años observando los cambios en abuela y mi pareja Shailesh que compartimos juntos casi 14 años. Todos hacemos un equipo y nos hemos sabido organizar pero tambien hemos flaqueado. Nuevas personas han aparecido en nuestras vidas desde que todo esto empezo y nos han hecho sentir queridos y nos dan ganas de seguir adelante.
Agradeceria de antemano la ayuda de quienes conocen a Mama o me conocen y quieren apoyarnos en estos dificiles momentos.

Raquel Chavez
Antes de cancer

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Raquel Chavez
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Champaign, IL

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