My mum's a fighter
I'm Ebony, I'm seventeen, and I live close to Newcastle, New South Wales. My mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer almost four years ago.
I just finished my first year of year twelve.
I undertook a program called 'Pathways', which allows you to spread out your HSC year. Without this program, I know I would have left school a long time ago. I'm sticking with it, because Mum told me that it would be the proudest moment of her life the day I graduated.
Mum suffered from stomach pains, bloating and overall discomfort for months before her diagnosis. Doctors were certain it was nothing more than a cyst, and told us all that every other pain was normal for a woman of her age and lifestyle (she was a drinker and smoker for years).
My ideas were blown away on the morning of my 14th birthday, when I woke up to an ambulance outside of my window, and my mum being carted out by strangers.
She was taken to surgery, and her 'cyst' was removed straight away. It wasn't until we had a family meeting that I knew something was drastically wrong. The doctors found cancerous cells throughout not only the newly named tumor, but through her abdomen as well. Chemo started pretty much straight away.
The hardest thing for me was stepping into the hospital.
Whenever a doctor or nurse came in, I would have a panic attack, and dad would have to take me home. Mum hated to see me like that, and I know it hurt her, but they're pretty unstoppable. The first remission was the best news we'd had in months, but that only last for about half a year. Cancer was found in her bowel, and in the lining of her stomach. More chemo, and weeks at a time in hospital, meant that Mum missed a lot of what was going on at home.
She has been in remission twice since, but cancer always finds a way back into our lives.
Currently, Mum is having a trial chemo treatment every three weeks, and is only there for a day at a time. It's a lot easier for all of us, having her here and letting us care for her like only a family can! She hasn't had a cigarette or alcohol since the day of her diagnosis, and that's the thing I'm most proud of. She's a fighter, and I know she'll be a fighter for many years to come.