I'll never forget getting home from an In the Heights rehearsal and not knowing where my mom was. The frantic call from my sister telling me she was in the hospital, and before she even said the word I knew deep down what it was.
Stage IV cancer.
At first, I felt absolutely hopeless. Here I am, 18 years old, about to graduate high school and I was left with a huge dilemma. I wanted to go to college and pursue Musical Theatre, but I could not leave my mom behind. The scary thing about cancer is how unpredictable it is, and I wanted to be here. With this in mind, I decided to take a gap year from going to college so that I could be here for her.
These last few months have been the hardest I have ever had to go through. Seeing my mom in pain, seeing her feel so helpless and terrified. Seeing my mother cry is the most heartbreaking sight I have ever had to witness. Here is the strongest woman in my life who has been through it all and is fighting harder than she has ever had to fight before. I have had countless sleepless nights and breakdowns trying to figure out what I can do to help. Everything I do is for my mom, and it will never be enough to ever pay her back for the lessons she has taught me. My mom is my hero. My rock. She has taught me so much and helped me through so many hard times and now it's my turn to help her.
Financially, we are seriously struggling. I live with my mom and my sister. My mom cannot work as much as she did because of constant chemo therapy treatments. My sister just gave birth to a beautiful baby and is trying her hardest to provide for us all. I am working a part time job trying to save money for school and a car but at the same time trying to help out as much as I can at home. On top of applying for school again, trying to save up for tuition payments and voice lessons, work, and trying to provide as much support for my family as I can, money is CONSTANTLY weighing my whole family down and the anxiety is unbearable at times. I sometimes feel like there is nothing I can do to help and that I am a bad son. I want to provide for her, but money is the one thing I can't do that would be a huge help.
Anything at all would be immensely helpful. It would go towards any bills that come up, gas for the constant back and forth out of town for treatments, and just daily needs that have become a huge burden on us.
Am I scared? Absolutely terrified. Life can be really stupidly unfair. If my mom has taught me and my sister anything, it's to just keep pushing, so that's what I want to do. I don't want cancer to be the end of our families happiness. I want to savor every moment, every hug, every kiss, and every breath that I have with my mom without letting cancer stomp on that.
My mom Roberta is an incredible mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. We appreciate anything you can do to help our family through this dark time.
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