Save Our Mom. Charlene Aquino

What should be the best time in my moms life has turned out to be a life or death situation, after giving birth to my younger sistger 4 months ago my mom was diagnosed with cancer in the lining of her lungs. With this type of cancer there is no cure only treatment to prolong her life. Hearing her tell my 13 year old sister and me was like reliving a bad nightmare over again. It was 9 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 3B at the age of 30. There was no one else in our family who had it and here she was telling her mom who had just got released from the hospital with a 5 valve by pass that her only daughter and best friend had to undergo a masectomy along with chemo and radiation to save her life. She was more worried about her mother then herself. She told my sister and me that she would have to cut all her hair off cause she was sick but since I had did so many Saint Judes Math A Thons I told her she had cancer. Her typical fashion was to stay with a smile on her face confirm that it was cancer and we shouldnt worry cause God just wanted her to have a new "Set of Boobs - free of charge". This made us laugh and that afternoon we cut her hair off. She worked her chemo and radiation around her work schedule cause she had kids to take care of.  After she was in remission we laughed many times about how I just blurted out what she was scared to day.  4 years ago her mom was batteling end stage kidney disease and mom quit work to take care of her she had to go to dyaisis and was getting worse. It would only been 3 months that they spent all of their time together. We ate dinner at grandma & grandpas, mom gave her the medicine she needed to stay alive, we even moved in for a short period of time to make sure that grandma was getting better. Losing her mom was devistating for the whole family but mom was unconsoleable. She stayed with my grandma until she took her last breath at the hospital to make sure her mom knew she was there for her. After that she took charge and helped my grandpa by making all the funeral arrangements, standing by the coffin all day while family and friends came to pay their respects. While hiding her grief she even made sure we stayed in NJ until my grandmas ashes were ready so we could drive her home with us where she belonged. It took a few months to get our the lost and she had to goto counceling to be able to function. When she was ready to go back to work the night before she found my grandpa laided out on the floor so she had to tell work she needed time off again. For a little while they were able to give it to her. She went to work when her dad was released to a nursing home but because he would not do what they wanted it was 3 months and they were putting him out. He was unable to take care of himself so she moved him in to our house, the stroke had caused his demensia to come on full blown it was sad to see but harder was to see my mom trying to take care of her dad and him being so angry at her, calling her names and only wanting his wife. My mom had to live the death of my grandma over and over again for 5 months. She left her dad home alone in bed for 5 minutes to pick me up from a concert at school when she returned he was dead in the bed. She was heart broken for 2 reasons her dad had died and she wasnt there which meant he died alone something she has regreted every day since then. Finally things were turning around she found a job care giving for a neighbor something she hated but we had to eat and by now we were broke and she didnt have a car so she was able to walk to work. A year at that crappy job was taking a toll on her because she missed taking care of her own parents, she found a temp job finally broke down and told her friends in NC that she was broke, the car was gone and she had no idea how she was going to take care of her kids. They helped her until she could get on her feet which she was determined to do. For a while things were looking up, with a new job, a car she could take care of her family. It was nice to see my mom happy again, then in June of 2011 she found out she was pregnante we were all surprised but no one more then mom she had chemo, radiation and 6 years of drugs to keep that from happening, but what a blessing from God a baby was coming, We were all excited for the birth even though we knew things would change. But we were unprepared for what came next a month ago she went to the Emergency Room at the hospital with what she thought was the flu no one worried cause what else could it be. After they took X-Rays and test they found fluid on her lungs and sent her to an oncologyst, mom assured us that it would be nothing. Could this be happening again, she has been through so much already and with no parents support, all her friends and family 9 hours away, are we gonna be able to help keep her spirits up while she worries about us? It was again the worst day for us. Oncologist confirmed cancer in the lining of her lungs, no cure, only treatment with medicine to prolong her life another 5 to 10 years. They moved quickly after that scheduled hystorectomy and ovaries removed to help slow the cancer cells growth. She knew she would have to tell work ut who would have known that the outcome instead of support and understanding, they fired her without warning or notice. By 4:30pm, she was let go. More stress added to the situation, at least she had medicaid. Or so we thought. They denied her - no money for medicine. She applied for unemployment but was refused. This seems to be a pattern in her life now. The doctors said without medicaid or insurance they can't start her on medicine ecause she can't afford the pills. The type of medicine has to be taken everyday for a year steady, if you stop you can't just pick back up again in 2 months, it doesn't work like that. So i'm turning to you and the kindness of your hearts to please save our mom. Shes only 38 and a good mom to us girls. I don't think 18 years is enough time for me, I need her in my life for a lot longer. And it's definitely not enough time for my 13 year old sister or our 4 month old sister... So we ask, Please save our mom. 
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Organizer

Charlene Aquino McCollough 
Organizer
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