I've always struggled with the concept everything happens for a reason.
I found that to be especially true when my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
Growing up, I always believed in God having a larger plan. This way of thinking gave me a sense of comfort in times when upsetting things happened.
But when my mother was diagnosed, I wondered exactly what God’s plan was.
Was it getting cancer? Was that His plan for her? For us?
Twenty-one was too young for me to lose my mother, and 55 was too young for her to lose the battle.
It was as if He was playing some kind of cruel, unfathomable joke on us. This happened to other people, not me and my mother.
Throughout my life, I've always tended to assume the worst.
By the time I was 20, there was a huge part of me that found it easier to believe life was on the verge of disaster.
There's no surprises that way, and there's less of a chance of getting hurt. But, life and my cynical way of thinking didn't prepare me for this.
When you hear the word "cancer," it breaks every bone inside of your body. Every muscle freezes until you find yourself fighting off going into cardiac arrest.
That moment halts your life, and the rest of the world moves on.
She whispered the words to me, and I fell in the living room with my back pressed up against the TV stand, feeling as if the world was crumbling down around me.
Suddenly, I didn't think about what was happening at that moment or what would happen six months from now.
I thought about my childhood. I thought about my innocence.
During my childhood, there once was a time when every fiber in my being trusted my parents would live forever.
The concept of fear, diseases and death evaded me in the greatest, most naïve way.
Today, I miss that kind of innocence.
I’d like to travel back to the days of light-up sneakers, Oreos and singing along to "Kenny the Shark" reruns on Saturday mornings, when I was curled up on the couch with footy pajamas and my mom's hot chocolate.
My mom would sit with me and play with my dolls, and we'd talk about everything.
We'd talk about the cruelty that flowed within some kids' veins. We'd talk about her fondest memories with her father growing up. We'd talk about where I'd love to one day travel.
We didn't talk about disease or the possibility of it.
It wasn't as if we didn't talk about the bad, but we didn't talk about the nonexistent.
As I look back on my relationship with my mom over these past 25 years, I realize there was never a single moment in our lives when we weren't open about everything.
Sometimes, that honesty worked against us, as it tends to do with most mother-daughter duos. But, she’s always been my superhero, and I've always been her sidekick.
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my mom because there’s never been a single thing she’s never done for me.
She's loving, supportive and reliable, and she’s the most incredible mother and best friend.
That’s why finding out this news kills me. I’m fearful of losing those memories, but I'm even more terrified of never making new ones.
Cancer doesn’t pick and choose which people to affect.
But, it can be told to back down. It can be told to fight, to lose and to die.
If you're a daughter of a mom who lives her life with cancer, you can only move forward. You must portray strength and provide hope.
My mom has been a fighter since the day she held me in her arms, and she’s been fighting for me for my entire life.
So, cancer needs to know that payback is a bitch.