Sunday, February 3, 2013

My mother is my hero.

Some things get me thinking...

I have now been in treatment for brain cancer going on three weeks.  I have had my ups and downs just like any other person going through the wonderful world of chemo and radiation therapy.  Tuesday night I got the results from my latest lab work back and my white blood cell count dropped pretty low.  I was instructed to hold off on the chemo until my numbers stabilized and I was not at such a high risk to get overly sick.  I went on a 2 day "chemocation 2013" and it was glorious.  I had my energy back, I slept better and felt healthy again...  And then I tested again Friday and was told to start my chemo again...  Dang...  It was fun while it lasted.  I am not trying to say my chemo is terrible and I know for a fact that compared to most people going through what I am, I am literally on an island vacation.  My side effects have been minimal and I have yet to vomit once (knock on wood.)  The only thing is, I do not feel like myself.  I do not like taking toxic medications that were originally formulated to kill humans.  I do not like exposing myself to toxins that are known carcinogens and lethal in large amounts, but I am fighting.  Suffering in the short term is part of battle.  I am in a full fledged war on cancer and there will be hard times.  There will be bad times and no matter what I will stay strong.  My mother went through this right before my eyes and I can now for the first time ever say I truly can relate to how she felt.

My mother fought her war for a long time.  She was strong, and she was resilient.  She was the ultimate warrior and she is my hero.  I still remember her in all her beauty, not the time when the cancer took over her body...  I don't recall what she looked like when she passed and I do not care to.  That was not her.  That was cancer.  That was the disguise her body took on when the disease srpead so far that there was no hope left.  That was not my mother any longer, that was cancer.  What I remember was beauty, strength and power.   She was beautiful, a beauty only a mother can have in the eyes of her child.  She was such a fighter and refused to give up.  She never took on the attitude of "why me?" and I truly think that is what is making me so strong through all of this.  I HAD to stay strong for her sake and even in the hardest of times I could not let her see me cry.  There were two instances where I doubted myself and whether or not I could bear to see her suffer any longer.  One, I will keep to myself and the other was the day the doctor told us there was no hope left.

The doctor pulled myself and my sisters into his office and apologized, he said "I am sorry, but I don't think there is anything left that we can do.  The chemo is not working and I do not want to put your mother through anymore pain."  We kind of already knew this was coming and hearing it from the doctor simply cemented it in our heads.  We now had to prepare for the inevitable.  This was not the hard part.  We had a calendar at my mother's apartment which was a schedule of daily activities, Monday- radiation 10am.  Tuesday- day off (have fun!)  Weds- Chemo 11am.  Thursday- radiation 10am.  Friday- radiation 10am.  Saturday and Sunday- Make mom laugh.  This was our schedule and we stuck to it.  Once the doctor broke the news to us, that schedule became Mon-Sun make mom laugh like she has never laughed before.  My mother knew what happened and without telling her, she knew. She knew it was a lost cause and her days were now numbered.  She knew, but she wanted to fight.  She wanted to fight like a single warrior up against an army of 10,000 armed soldiers trained and focused on nothing but murder.  We changed the calendar one day to the above mentioned schedule, and she changed it back to the chemo and radiation schedule.  We told her we don't need to do that anymore and she didn't care.  She said she is fighting this and she is going to win.  She will see her grandsons first birthday and she will watch me marry and my sister have her first child.   She swore she would never smoke another cigarette, she said she will do WHATEVER it takes and she would not give up.  She changed the calendar three different times and it killed me inside every time having to see the chemo schedule back up.  She did not want to give up.  She had more fight in her than any person I have ever met in my life.  Even when it got bad towards the end, she swore she would never give up.  She is my hero, she is my angel and I admire her more today than I ever have.  She fought until her last breathe and both my sisters and I were there for her until the bitter end.  I have always been a 'momma's boy' and am proud of it.  I never left her side when I knew the end was coming and I think she knew I was there.  She waited to take her last breathe, she waited until I stepped out of the room for one stupid reason or another.  I was gone for less than 5 minutes and came back to a room with the empty shell of what was my mother.  She fought her ass off.  She tried to tame something that is untamable and she would not take no for an answer.  My mother is my hero. She is everything in life that I hope to become and I think everyone needs to take note of what a true fight looks like.

I apologize if I just got really emotional and made you step outside of your comfort zone.  I try my hardest to keep these posts as positive and up beat as I possibly can, but today for some reason I could not stop thinking about my childhood and the days spent with my mother.  Maybe it was being back in my old neighborhood with friends that I spent countless Super Bowls accompanied with my mom, maybe it was a talk I had with a newly war battered VICTOR Debbie Adams in the breast cancer battle or maybe I was just was overly thoughtful today.  Whatever it was, I am glad it happened.  I don't think about her as much as I used to and remembering her beautiful face is the perfect preparation for another week of toxic exposure and chemo madness.  I know what she went through and I know after watching what she fought through, this is a fucking cake walk.  Life is all a matter of perspective, we all have it good compared to the person who does not.  This is not a reason to feel sympathetic, this is a reason to live life.  This is why everyone should live their fucking lives like they have never lived before.  Don't find your will and desire to live a happy life because of me, find someone who is your hero and make a conscious decision to live a life that would make them happy.  And if you can not find a hero, live a life that would make everyone envious.  If we truly are here only once, make the best of it and DO NOT WAIT until you are forced to live, make a decision and break rules.  Have fun and do things that people say you shouldn't.

"Wherever life takes you, leave the place shaking, disrupted and trying to imagine what it was like before you came.  Be a force for change.  For pondering.  And re-pondering.  For LOVE and the belief in the GOOD OF PEOPLE.  Go forth and be a force of awesome.  Do epic, terrifying, unheard of shit.  Whatever makes you happy.  And drugs.  And other "bad" things.  And fall in love.  If nothing else, fall in love."

-Jordan Lejuwaan.

My new life motto.


instagram @coffsauce for epic visuals of the cancer life.


  1. Truly beautiful man. And your mom sounds like such an amazing woman. She really did teach you to stay positive and to never give up.

    I love you man. Keep it up. We'll get through this. And please call me or text me whenever. 818 433 1434

    -Phi Van Le

  2. Ryan, you don't know me. But I feel like I know you because of Dodie. Every week I ask her how you are and she keeps me updated and links your blog on FB. I've seen your radiation video, too. You are an amazing young man! I couldn't be prouder of you if you were my own son. What a touching rembrance of your Mom. Nothing wrong with being a Momma's boy...cuz you know what? She helped you become the MAN you are now. And that's a great thing! Oh, I bought one of the necklaces Dodie made and will wear it and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. - Nancy Balogh

  3. Hi Ryan,

    You don't know me either, but keep your spirits up. My partner was diagnosed with GBM Grade IV in Jan 2008, he was a fit active 60 year old. He had a craniotomy same month and then the radiation and temodral like you for 6 weeks, with another 6 months of temodral afterwards. In May that year, 4 months after his operation we rode our motorcycles to Cape York, Greg was now been tumour free for 5 years. There is hope and I wish you luck.

    All the best

  4. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?




  5. Hi Ryan,

    This is a beautifully touching post that brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing a piece of your mom's painstaking yet brave journey in the midst of your own. Just a quick note to remind you that we think of you often and our family continues to pray for you daily. Can you please email me a mailing address where we can send some things for you and Natashia?

    God Bless,
    The Esparza Family

  6. Somehow stumbled on your blog and I'm glad I did. You're a hero yourself. Keep on fighting.