Having to travel out of town to receive my second round of chemo treatment at one of the cancer treatment centers was a new experience for me. My first round of chemo treatment was administered at a local hospital therefore, I was feeling a bit anxious because I didn’t know what to expect this time around. In reality, any knowledge I had regarding this procedure up to this point was what I had seen in movies. Watching something in a movie and actually experiencing it yourself are two very different things, to say the least.
As we were approaching the parking lot entrance, we saw how full the parking lot was and my mom offered to drop me off at the front entrance while she would go look for an available parking space. Being my usual stubborn self, I replied, no, I am okay. As we drove slowly through the parking lot, we finally came across an available parking space and parked. As we got out of the car, we looked around to find the entrance doors. Once we spotted the entrance, we started walking towards it. As we continued to take steps, I started to feel tired and having difficulty breathing or catching my breath. Why did I feel this way you might be wondering? Well as I have stated before I had a tumor over my heart and left lung. Therefore, my lung capacity for breathing became significantly diminished which made breathing more difficult to do then expected. I had to constantly stop to rest and catch my breath in order to be able to take more steps. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I was able to reach the front doors of the entrance. By this point I was almost drenched in sweat, my mouth was dry and I was breathing hard, wheezing, my heart was beating very fast and my whole body ached. I honestly felt like I had run a 5K marathon when in reality all I did was walk across a parking lot. As we entered the building, we were greeted at the front desk. We were advised that we had to register and do all the usual paperwork needed to be able to start the process. Although it was a very daunting task to do, I didn’t mind as much because at least I was sitting down in a comfortable chair, feeling the cool air and finally able to rest to catch my breath. Being able to rest in that moment felt divine.
Fast forward to the end of my chemo treatment, the medical staff disconnected all the machines from my body and after discussing self-care and side effects, I was discharged. Finally, I was able to travel back home.
As we walked out of the building, my mom told me sit here while I go get the car. I was about to speak when my mom interupted me by saying it’s not up for discussion. Sit here on the bench and wait for me. All I could say in that moment with the sincerest of heart was, thank you mommy.
As always being myself, I wanted to show strength throughout the whole process. I didn’t want anyone to perceive me as a weak or vulnerable person. However, God helped me learn a valuable lesson more than once throughout my life. We have to stop trying to do all things on our own strength and ask God for help. In my case, God helped me realize this through my mom and from this point forward in my cancer journey and in my life, I ask God for help in everything. Getting God’s help was important throughout my cancer battle because I know that I would not have survived on my own. One way God provided me help was with people such as my mom, family members, medical personnel, and strangers. Be brave, ask for help.