Back in early February, she went to the doctor for the pain in her lower back; putting off the visit was no longer an option. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with a large tumor on L5. Her treatment was to begin immediately and with very aggressive chemotherapy.
She was devastated, and being a nurse, she knew that Stage 4 foretold the battle she was facing for her life. She went into work the next day and talked to her supervisors who then recommended that she resign, effective immediately. In emotional shock, she didn’t think before signing the document they quickly prepared for her.
The first chemo treatment caused her hair to fall out immediately. Her husband found her baldness unattractive and he left without ever looking back.
Now alone, she faced debilitating chemotherapy while now responsible for the total care of her severely autistic, blind, cerebral palsied, going deaf 11 year old son. “He is the light of my life,” she said as tears streamed down her face.
“Nothing comes easy for me. Everything has to be a battle,” she said, “and that’s the way it’ll always be.”
Her cancer is now in remission, and her hair has grown back. Though her aged mother helps when she can, she is faced with even more challenges. She has to earn good money so that she can afford her son’s care. Her other choice is to not work at all and try to exist on $600 a month, the amount of his disability checks which discontinue when she works.
Rumor has it that all hospitals are under a hiring freeze. Though they desperately need nurses, none will be hired until the current health care overhaul debate is settled. She has had no luck finding work.
“Yep, everything is an uphill battle for me. It always was, and it always will be.”
Even through her openly flowing tears, her smile was there to shine with the love of her son. Their miracle: Life.
For this woman, life is worth fighting for. Every day.