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Ashely K.

So, my mom has always been the one to take care of family; the impervious one who could never get sick even if she tried...or so we thought. Moms are supposed to be the ones to take care of us, I assumed I would have at least 20 more years before I had to take care of her and my father. But Christmas Eve 2014, would change all that.

On Christmas Eve my mom felt like she was having some sort of heart attack, she says, "I will get it checked out next week." After two days of pain she went to the doctor. One doctor turned into a few and ultimately the first mammogram. Her mammogram came back with some issues which lead to doctors number 2, 3, and 4. They saw a spot but she needed another scan to see where the spot was going too. Flash forward to February 13, 2015. We find out she has a mass in her lungs that has metalized into her left breast, with additional spots in the lymph nodes, right breast and I am not exactly sure where else. I try to stop at the mass in the lungs. That has been our primary focus, and frankly I just can't handle any more than the lungs.

We felt like we were getting nowhere. Doctors offices seem to take their time when we felt time really wasn't on our side. Now we are sitting at Friday the 13th of March. My mom went in for a simple biopsy. Two weeks, a collapsed lung, weight loss, and exhaustion later she was finally going home. And on March 26, 2015, our journey with Stage 4 lung cancer officially began. The next steps were real; reality sank in. We weren't going to sit back and take a crappy diagnosis. Since then I am no longer 100 percent ignorant when it comes to lung cancer. I have learned, I have cried, I have educated myself on topics I never really wanted to know, but most of all, I learned to be there for my mom in way I never imagined.

I have screamed at nurses and doctors and been the voice she needs. I can't and shouldn't take most of the credit. My dad has been her captain. He has taken charge of everything in her life. I can only hope that one day my life story is as great as hers because I have never encountered someone so strong and so positive when life threw a whole lot of crap her way.

Through this entire ordeal she has never once given up hope or faith. So as of today, she is currently in week two of chemo and radiation. Her blood results are looking good and they will be cutting down on chemo. We anxiously and patiently wait for the day she can say, "I kicked cancers ass."

First published: January 30, 2017

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