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Samantha D.

Cancer is not a diagnosis given to an individual, it is a diagnosis given to an entire family. April 2016 my life came to a complete halt when my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 non small cell lung cancer. Within 24 hours doctors confirmed it was in fact stage 4 and we had 48 hours at most with my hero, my best friend, my mother. We gathered by her bedside at St. Es saying our goodbyes, confessing our regrets, begging for more time. We made it past the 48 hour mark. She responded to the emergency chemotherapy in a way the doctors said they hadn't seen.

After a week stay we were able to take her home. With oxygen tanks and meds now filling the home I grew up in we spent as much time as we could with her. She seemed to be doing much better, but I guess that's what they call false hope. In July of 2017 I was in labor with my second son and my mother was 2 floors above me in the cancer ward. She was wheeled down just in time to watch the birth of her second and last grandchild. It was a day I will never forget.

With a low oxygen tank she wasn't able to visit with her new grandson long and had to go back to her room. This is where it all went down hill. August 23, I got the call from my mom asking, "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?" She was going home, but, it was to he on hospice because it was that time. Where there was nothing left to do. Her morphine dose was more than tripled and we spent the next days gathered around her, telling whatever stories she could remember, holding her hand, and making sure she knew she wasnt alone.

Repeatedly she cried this wasnt fair, she wasnt ready. But, on August 27 at 1:13 a.m. I got the call that she had passed. I went to her house to say goodbye to the women I adored, loved, the women I needed and still need. I walk with LUNG FORCE because I cannot cure cancer on my own, but I can help win the fight. I am the voice of my mother now. I am an advocate for her and this disease. I will not stop until no other people and families have to go through this again and cancer is a part of history.

This is why I walk. This is why I fight. This is why I fight with lung force. I do it all in memory of my mother. For team walking for Michelle.

First published: November 29, 2018

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