I do not mention this to a lot of people; it's not a secret, I just don't open up easily. It must be the closed up Crab-like features of my personality. And... my mother has taught me and molded me into who I am today. No matter what happens, she has told me to have dignity in what I do. This is my testimony, but at the same time, it is my cry inside, that I keep hidden away. In April of 2008, it was a busy time of teaching, studying to complete my Master's, and preparation for our wedding. This time marks the month right after I completed First Communion and Confirmation with the Catholic Church, and I was expecting God's blessings to shower down upon me, but as always, God had a different plan.
I was teaching 4th grade at this time with a bunch of silly little pre-teens running around me and packing up backpacks as they prepared to leave at the end of the school day. I received the call from my mom; it was about 3:30 p.m. I could barely understand her..."Come now, the doctor says it's cancer." That lump formed in my throat and shock filled my insides.
"I'll be there as soon as I put the kids on the bus." I promised. Minutes later, I sat in the cold doctor's office as the tall Anglo doctor pointed to an image of my mom's kidneys.
"This is a tumor on the right kidney and this is a massive kidney stone in the left one. We must do surgery to remove this; we cannot do it here in Victoria; you would have to go to Houston or San Antonio." I asked questions and each answer slammed against me. How would my mom survive with both kidneys infected? Before I knew it, the doctor was finished explaining about the cancerous poison which is present in my mom's body. We left soon after, and I kept asking Mom if she needed help and if she was okay. Tony showed up and comforted us as well. Later that evening, she said Daddy cried more than her, she played a Spanish testimony for him, reminding him to have faith, and God is a God of miracles. My sisters and brother and I talked about her need for surgery, but my mom, being stubborn continued to refuse. The American Cancer Society contacted her, but she refused assistance. Perhaps, it is her pride, forming a shield over any call for help.
About a month later, we met with Dr. Long, a round heavy man, with a smile that said "I understand you." We talked things over, and I promised I would give her a kidney if I was a match, if it ever came to that point. They discussed her diabetes and her sugar levels, etc. Then, we made the decision, she did not have to have surgery if she did not want to, and as long as she wasn't in severe pain, she would be okay, but once the severe pain hit, she could have surgery and insulin could control her sugar levels. Not long after this, the urologist sent a certified letter in the mail, saying if she did not have surgery, she would suffer a long agonizing death. Let's just say we have proved him wrong, because Gracias a Dios, Mama is alive today, with her strength and stubbornness. Most of all, I admire her faith and drive to live each day with God's grace and blessing. Although, she has her dark moments, who doesn't? She is always there to remind me that God is in control, and I need to quit doubting myself and doubting God's will. I have moments when I cry and even get mad at her that she does not want surgery right now, but then I understand I must respect her decision. I would much rather enjoy my mom with respect then be in constant disagreement with her.
When I was going through health problems of my own, I cried so hard when the doctors discovered a cyst in my own kidney. I immediately spoke up, "But I promised to give my mom a kidney; she has cancer." The doctor told me, "Well let's get you to a urologist and see what needs to be done to remove it." I was supposed to see the urologist at the end of May of 2009, but before that, I got sick enough to go to the ER for some stomach complications. Immediately, the ER doctor ordered an Ultrasound and the Ultrasound tech pressed the cold hard instrument on my back, zooming in on my kidney, and I prayed silently in my mind, gritting my teeth from the pain. God please heal me, please help me with this, I need to be strong for my mom...In Jesus Name." When she had to do it again, I squirmed in pain, "It hurts, do you have to press so hard?" I whimpered. She nodded and continued the scan. Shortly later, the ER doctor came with the images in his hand.
"You have the cysts still in your right ovary; you have a lot of constipation, too. This might be causing the pain as well as your Irritable Bowel. Your gallbladder is okay, and the cyst on your kidney is gone." Although I was in pain in my stomach, I felt so relieved that my kidneys were okay and sat right up. I had to call my mom as soon as we left the ER, and I could hear the joy in her voice.
What is my decision? My decision is to spend as much time with my mom, because I know she is sick. My decision is to stay close to home. I had plans to complete my Master's and then immediately pursue my Ph. D, but you know what? There's time for all that later. I will not have my mom forever; I have realized that now. I have realized I must put others' needs above my own wants. There's time for everything else later.
I'll admit I used to fight with my mom a lot and disagree and even disrespect her, and she would always yell the Commandments at me "HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER!" The Bible says. Respect yourself, because if you don't, no one else will respect you. Stand up for yourself, speak up when needed. Don't let no one put you down. Know who you are and never change. Respect your elders. These are only a few of the consejos from my mom which I value so much. I have peace that I am here not far at all from my parents and my family. I love to see my mom smile, when all the family is together and getting along. Let's remember to honor our parents, no matter what happened in the past, our parents are still our parents, and we need to respect, love, and honor them.