June 2009. The other secondary five students are delighted: school is ending, prom is coming up. I’m not. I have just learned my mother has breast cancer. Everyone reacts differently to such a terrible news. Do you know the ad where people fall off their chair? Well, it was not my case because the words just did not make any sense. At least, not more then the words of the palliative care nurse after my Mom had taken her last breath: “It’s over.” One simply doesn’t want to believe it. Mom has always been there for me. I cannot imagine she will not be at my university graduation ceremony, at my wedding, that she will never see my first house or that she will never be able to hold her grandchildren in her arms.
Sunday, October 6 2013. I had volunteered for CIBC Run for the Cure in the morning. 3:45 am, Monday October 7 2013. The phone rings. Mom had a severe reaction to her new chemotherapy treatment and almost passed away. Jason and I take a taxi to Saint-Sacrement Hospital as soon as I hang up with my Dad. She gets out a few weeks later. Hospital. Home. Hospital. Home. We can slowly feel her slipping away from us.
August 8 2014. I’m in Ontario for my summer work. A text message appears on my cellphone: “ Call me as soon as you see this message.” I call Dad back. The metastases have spread to her spinal cord. There is nothing left to do. I urge to catch a flight to Quebec City to spend one last week by her side discussing, joking around, crying, playing her favourite songs, holding her hand and listening to her telling us how much she wants to live.
August 17 2014 8:55 pm… “It’s over.” No, Miss the Nurse: it’s not over. It’s only the beginning. Love, Courage and Determination never die.
The rink was crowded as always, but I was having a blast. Just then, I got a call from my step father telling me Mom was in the hospital – her lungs. I spoke to her, shaking, not because of the cold but because I was scared it was something worse. I leave the rink to see my little sisters. Mom had to spend the night in a hospital bed.
Mom comes back a day later, but things changed; only I couldn’t figure out why. I ask her if she is okay and she says yes. A fitness instructor, hard-working women and incredible mother of three children was too still. I didn’t understand. Months went by and she did a great job of projecting myself and my sisters from what was really going on.
May 7, 2010. I receive a call from my stepdad on my phone. Mom died that day, just like that. No goodbye. No warning that things were getting worse from that adventure into the hospital I find out in a blast why she was so quiet. She was silently battling stage 4 breast cancer that spread. It destroyed me, until at one point I realized I had to do my best and get back on track. I completed school back in Quebec City. I learnt so much about life, time and how we cannot control or make sense of certain things. But I also learnt the importance of enjoying every minute with the people you love. Throughout my studies, I needed to find a way to get involved. That’s where Pink Future enters. This project is a tribute to her strength and determination. The bike ride itself will be a challenge, but not nearly as challenging as my Mom’s journey of protecting her children from her rapid descent through cancer.
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