battling cancer

‘Doctor…please believe us. Our son is not OK.’ He looked at us like we were crazy. ‘He looks perfectly fine to me!’: Mom urges ‘trust your gut’ after son’s Stage 4 Neuroblastoma misdiagnosed, cancer cells detected during ‘cancer-free hospital party’

“Pepe let out the most painful cry I’d ever heard. Cries of, ‘Mommy, I’m hurting.’ Days passed. He developed an uncontrollable cough. It was written off. The doctor looked at us like we were the sick ones. ‘Are you SURE this is the baby you describe as so sick?’ The next afternoon, I had a voicemail. ‘Hello, Ms. Zapien. Please get a hold of me ASAP!’ I felt the blood drain from my body. A mass the size of my fist was pushing down on Pepe’s left lung, and they were forming all over his little body.”

‘Mom, her x-rays are not good. It’s spreading.’ WHAT?! She went from mentioning pain to crying that it ‘hurt so bad.’: Daughter diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, ‘I’ve learned more in 2 years than the 40 I’ve been alive’

“Gabby kept complaining about her left knee. Her brother had just gone through a similar growth spurt and had constant knee pain as well. I thought nothing of it. I took the kids to Target after school one day when I noticed she was limping. ‘Does it really hurt THAT BAD?’ Nothing looked wrong with it. Soon after, I got the call. ‘They will call and tell you where Gabby needs to go.’ WHAT? I paused, no idea what she was talking about.”

‘Go home. You’re cured.’ The same day there was an urgent message on my phone. I didn’t want to spoil Christmas.’: Woman diagnosed with Stage 4 breast, lung, liver cancer, ‘I decided to take back control’

“I genuinely thought it would all be fine. I ate a healthy diet, was fit and healthy. I just couldn’t believe it. I was in a trance. Numb. There was yet another tumor, in a third place. I rang the cancer helpline. I tried to speak, but just cried. The poor person on the end just listened to me sob for 15 minutes without a break. I needed to get it all out of my system.”

‘I became a crappy friend. My best friend got cancer. Instead of being a rockstar, I went MIA.’: Woman pens sweet letter to best friend who beat cancer after losing her mother

“My best friend showed up at my son’s birthday party and told me she had the same cancer that took my mom a year earlier. I was numb. Heartbroken. Clueless how to maneuver through grief, while also trying to support her. Sure, I sent cards and care packages. But I was MIA. Truth is, I was obsessively thinking about her. It’s taken a year to finally wake up.”

‘Mommy, I’ve been scared to say this, but I have a big bump on my chest.’ I lifted her shirt. Sheer horror!’: 8-year-old girl diagnosed with breast cancer after both parents beat cancer, ‘we are a family of fighters’

“There it was. A hard lump directly under her right nipple. ‘Honey? Please come here a minute.’ My husband and I exchanged a look of fear. It was so dark you could see it through her skin. We just hugged and bawled. ‘Not our baby girl,’ we both kept saying. ‘Mommy, what’s wrong?’ Her sweet face changed.”

‘My son sat on the sidelines, on hospital floors, watching his sister deteriorate. HE suffered, silently.’: Mom praises son for being ‘unsung hero’ during little sister’s battle with Ewing’s Sacroma

“At 10, Gabriel was thrust into a world of hospitals, procedures, and more pain fathomable. He watched his sister get all the affection, attention, and gifts. He lay on hospital floors next to her, hardly able to sleep, then awoke for school in the early mornings. He watched her deteriorate, not being able to help his sissy, not expressing his feelings…keeping it all inside.”

‘Never in a million years did I think I’d get cancer, much less BREAST cancer.’: Male breast cancer survivor urges men to ‘get checked out’ if they notice ‘something out of the ordinary’

“One night after I got home from the gym, I felt a tiny lump the size of a dime on my right nipple. Like most men, I assumed it was a cyst or ingrown hair. My wife pushed to get it checked out. Lo and behold, I was drinking my morning cup of coffee, still in my PJs and trying to wake up, when I got a call. ‘Michael, our biopsy results came back and you have cancer.’ I went to work that day looking like someone walked over my grave.”

‘Are you on drugs? Pregnant? What are you not telling us?!’ My managers pulled me aside. A football-sized disc floated in my chest.’: 17-year-old diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, gives birth despite ‘infertility’ after chemo

“My high-school sweetheart cheated on me, then dumped me. My friends couldn’t cope with my ‘new normal’ and turned away. I didn’t want to be different. My body was thin, my face swollen. I looked like an alien. Minutes later, he pointed to a black hole of goo where my lungs should’ve been. I frantically tried to make it to the break room but blacked out.”

‘After the diagnosis, we found out we were pregnant. It sent chills down my spine. All I could think was, ‘We don’t have enough time! How am I supposed to raise my children without him?’

“We were excited and broken. For much of my pregnancy, I struggled knowing that my baby would never meet the greatest man ever. He had this thing where he nicknamed each child on delivery day. Pistol, Bullet, Slug, and Cricket. There was so much anticipation for him to walk into that delivery room and call him by his ‘name’.”

‘Mom, why wasn’t Ryan in school today?’ He kept looking for him, but Ryan was getting ready for his angel wings.’: 10-year-old boy loses best friend to Ewing’s sacroma, starts foundation in his honor to teach cancer patients to fish

“When my son’s best friend passed from cancer, he said, ‘Mom, he spent so much time in the hospital that he didn’t get the chance to be a kid. He didn’t even get to go fishing!’ You see, Jake’s passion is fishing. He’s been doing it since he was 5 and it’s grown to be his absolute favorite activity. ‘Mom, kids fighting cancer should get to fish!’ I told him he should do something about that, and so he did. Ryan made my son feel like he belonged. He wanted to do for cancer patients what Ryan did for him.”

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