• I remember the day so vivedly. It was early fall, and I wasn't too cold yet--the kind of weather when all you need is a spring jacket and you'll be fine. I was in the third grade. When I walked into the kitchen to look for my mom after school. I heard her talking on the phone.
    " She's home, I have to go," she aid.
    She hung up the phone and gave me a tiny smile. "Do you want to go for a drive?" she asked me. "I need to tell you something."
    I nodded my head, feeling that whatever she was going to share with me wouldn't be good, but I knew I had to hear it.
    We drove around listening to music. When we reached my school, she drove into the parking love, stopped the car and looked at me.
    "Remember what Grandma had?? She asked.
    "Cancer, right?" I replied.
    "Yes. Well, when I was in the shower the other day, I noticed an unusual bump on my breast. I went to the doctor's, and he has diagnosed me with cancer," she said. Then she started to cry.
    I wanted to cry too, but I didn't. I felt like I had to comfort her and reassure her that she'd be okay, so I needed to stay strong. As long as I kept telling her it would be all right, I felt like it was.
    And she was okay--for a while. She had radiation and chemotherapy. It made her throw up everyday and she lost her hair. But the cancer dissapeared. The whole time I was in the fourth grade she was completely fine.
    Then I went into fifth grade. One day when I got home from school, my mom was sitting on her recliner, crying.
    I knew it was back. "It's back...the cancer, isn't it?" I asked.
    She nodded her head, and I began to cry. I ran over to her and gave her the biggest hug I have ever given anyone. She told me that it was still breast cancer, but the cells had moved to her liver.
    Again, she lost her hair because of the chemotherapy and radiation. We also sent her to a different city once a month to get a special treatment.
    Then in March, my mom went into the hospital. She was only there for one and a half weeks, but during her stay she got a lot better. The doctors sent her home. She was doing great...until one day she couldn't move without hurting.
    She was at the point where she had to be in bed all the time, and she couldn't even talk without it hurting like 100 stabbing knives. My family got ready to say good-bye because we all knew she wouldn't be around much longer.
    One morning, my mom seemed to be in more pain than usual. My brother Josh and I sat by her bed for over three hours, while I held her hand. Then she became quiet. Josh called the hospital and asked if someone could come over to check on her.
    A short while later, a nurse arrived and checker her heartbeat. "She
    s gone, I'm sorry," He said quietly.
    I actually started to laugh because I couldn't believe it. I was eleven! Eleven-year-olds only lose their moms in the movies--not in real life. Even though I knew that it was going to happen, it still didn't seem true.
    Some days, I am great. Other days, I just can't believe she's gone. On those days, I want her back so badly that no words can do it justice. I'm sure that sometimes you probably think your parents are just out to ruin your life. Believe me; it's really hard to go one without them.
    Cancer, the only word I can't say without crying or wanting to cry. I just hope my children, or other people I may love in the furtre will never have to go through the same pain that I have had to. Many people survive cancer. I guess my mom just wasn't lucky enough.