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When I was in fifth grade (I'm in ninth now), my mom sat my 12 year old brother, my 3 year old sister, and 10 year old me down to talk. That's when she told us she had been diagnosed with breastcancer in her right breast. Right then, my world stopped. How could my amazing, spunky, and only 41 year old mom get cancer? I guess she had been wondering the same thing. She and my stepdad assured us through our tears that nothing, absolutely nothing would change. Even now I don't know the specifics about what my mom went through, but she underwent a series of radiation and was put on one medication after the next. Even still, we had a blast together. If she hadn't told us about the cancer, my guess is that we wouldn't have known. We still had parties, still rode bikes, and never even thought about cancelling our family vacation. So many people pulled my brother and me aside and told us to tell our mom we didn't want to go on our vacation so we could let her rest. What we did instead? Ran crying to our mom telling her what they had said. She cried too. Who are they to decide how she should spend her time? "no matter what," she said, "we are going on that trip!"

I guess what I'm saying is that my mom didn't let cancer change who she is. There were rough spots (when she was on tomoxafin), but we got through it because we didn't listen to other people's ideas on how to run our family. I love her so much. Excuse the cliche, but I don't know what I would do without her.

Farmington hills, MI

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