If anyone knows my mom, Lilia, you would know how incredibly active, fit and full of energy she is. This would have been very accurate 4 months ago when my mom was working, competing in soccer leagues, playing with her grandson and independently leading her busy lifestyle. One of my mom's goals and dreams is to teach her grandson to play soccer, and to be his coach and mentor as he grows up. I too am excited for this to happen. There is, however, a mountain to climb.
My mother's struggle started in early September when she began experiencing pain in her chest which then quickly became intolerable when she was playing soccer. At that time, she stopped playing soccer thinking that the pain would soon go away. She continued to stay busy by working full time and any chance she got, she would drive 2 hours to stay with my family for the weekends. She continued to care for, inspire, and play with her grandson during her time with us.
As time progressed, my mom experienced a hoarseness in her voice that would slowly shroud her normal speaking throughout October and November. Soon, anything she said was only as loud as a whisper. We banded together and sought treatment, only to learn that she was suffering from Stage 4 Lung Cancer. My mom's laugh, loud and wild, which could be joyously mistaken for a cackle, was gone, and she could now only be heard by actively listening from within the same room.
In December my mom stayed in the hospital for 3 nights. After more testing, it was decided that we would begin treatment. My mom experienced two painful rounds of Chemotherapy, and upon subsequent tests, we learned that the procedures were not doing anything to minimize or stop the growth of her tumors in her lungs. During this time, my mom quickly became weakened by the effects of chemotherapy and the slew of pain management medications. She lost many pounds and was nutrient deficient due to her loss of appetite.
In early January, she stayed another 14 nights in the hospital, where we learned many things.
As a result of her cancer, my mom lost her ability to speak properly due to a larynx nerve that was paralyzed by the growth of her tumors. We learned that because of this, she has been aspirating food and liquids that she was consuming. Last week we had the procedure to add a feeding tube in order for her to feed safely. This is the most shocking piece for me, knowing how much of a foodie my mom is, she can no longer eat by mouth and taste all of the flavors she was once passionate about experiencing. We soon decided it would be best for my mom to move in with me and my family to enjoy our company and especially that of her grandson.
We continue to fight this cancer with new treatments of immunotherapy and a variety of physical, occupational, emotional and spiritual therapies. I have recently returned to work full time and with the help of my mother's sister and "Mama Chapi", her mother, who have arrived from Peru, we have made it possible for my mom to receive 24 hour care. However, my family will return to Peru, next week, 2/8/18 and I will begin to seek care assistance while my husband and I are fulfilling our other work responsibilities. I know it takes a village to raise and bring up a family young or old. Together we can help my mom bounce back! My mom is only 58 years old and we still have so much time to enjoy together, especially now that she's living with my family and I.
Your generous donation will help my cover my mom's medical bills and the personal care assistance that she now requires. I know in my heart that my mom will live her dream of teaching her grandson to play soccer. Please please help my mother make her dream a reality. We are forever grateful to you!
- Marlene Baldizon
- Eric Burgess
- Amanda Coroso
- Nicole Carpenter
- Cat Smith