In 2005, my mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer. I was in second grade that year. No reason, no “bad” habits, nothing, she just happened to have cancer. Since then it has been a constant battle. Her cancer came back three times, and she has had to face numerous rounds of chemo and radiation; but she kept on fighting. Not only did she go through ten plus surgeries back-to-back, but she also lost her ability to eat. She was overly radiated which in turn burned and scarred her esophagus, but it didn’t stop there. Because of the radiation, the bone in my mother’s jaw began to die which resulted in having to remove her entire jaw and putting in plates. However, our family got through it. We were able to overcome my mother not eating for eight years when she received a peg tube, we adjusted to her slurred speech when more than half of her tongue was cut off, and we have been able to overcome the frustrations of cancer– However, it has come back.

Now, after over eight years of being cancer free my mother was diagnosed for a fourth time with squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. This news turned us inside out. We truly believed that we were done fighting, with the surgeries, with the constant worrying if my mother is going to survive this, but we aren’t.