Joshua (left) with his brother, Samuel
I believe it was early 2013 when my family found out my mom had cancer. I remember it pretty well, since we were planning on going on a big backpacking trip together, but we had called off the trip. I didn’t know at the time why, but shortly after, my parents called my siblings together to let us know. My mom had early stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was told that it was an easy cancer to cure, which eased my worries a little, but I was still nervous. What would this mean? Would she be okay?
I think the hardest thing for me during the whole experience was my mom having to lose her hair for chemo. She’s Puerto Rican, so she had very long, curly hair at the time. It was somewhat traumatic for her to slowly start losing it, and I definitely felt it. The hair loss made the experience very real for me, and scared me quite a bit. However, once I got past that, I felt alright. I knew that my mom was both a physically strong and strong-willed person, so I used that to cope. She would win this fight!
It actually wasn’t even a year later that my mom was told that she was going into remission, so everything would be better. We all celebrated, and breathed a sigh of relief at something terrifying that actually ended up bringing our family closer together in the end. All in all, keeping a positive outlook on the road ahead helped me personally deal with my mom’s cancer. Don’t feel discouraged if your situation looks bad; there’s always a possibility that it’ll get better!