My name is Roy Patterson and my mom is a breast cancer survivor. A good friend of mine named Carolyn Nichols wanted me to write this to help any of the men who have been through the same ordeal that I went through.
I got the phone call from my dad saying that my mom has breast cancer. I think my exact words were “OK , now what do we do?”. He told me that they don’t know yet what the process is going to be and that he would let me know something in the next day or two. Well , I started going through all the emotions, not near what my parents were going through, and trying to think of what should I do now and what should I have done before. That day changed my life forever. My head was spinning with the thought of not having her here to see my daughter grow up and all the things we have done together. Anyone that has been through this or knows of someone who has been through this knows exactly what I was going through.
After several trips to Dallas, they told her what kind it was and what the procedures were going to be. They would be making a trip to Dallas twice a week for radiation treatments and then to Palestine for chemotherapy treatments. They ended up going just to Palestine to the cancer treatment center twice a week for all the procedures.
Mom had her good days and her bad days. I think the toughest thing for her was all of her hair falling out. We always laughed about it when they would come over and visit us and my daughter would pull her wig she had. That helped out alot with the whole process. Sometimes that is all you can do is laugh about the whole thing. She is a trooper for sure.
Once the doctors found out what type and the amount of cancer was in her body, they said the outcome looked very good. That news helped our family out alot. The type she had, from what the doctors said, was a type that could be cured. They should have no problem in getting all of it “cleared out”.
The doctors did good and got everything out with treatments. I was still a wreck and thinking the whole time “are you sure you got all of it?”. Well they did and my mom is doing great now. My parents are making up for lost time and are always taking trips somewhere!!! Going to the beach, going to Fort Worth, Dallas, and spending alot of time with myself, wife, and daughter.
Like I said earlier, when my dad told me the news, I went through all the emotions. What do I do now, what should I have done before, and what am I going to do if she doesn’t make it. I never thought before about her not being here, but when you hear something like that, you start thinking about it pretty quick. The thought was always there because both of my parents are getting older just like everyone’s, but that is not something you think about on a daily basis until you get that kind of phone call.
The hardest thing I had to ask my dad was ” what are we going to do if she dies?” My dad is a strong man and he said “son, I just don’t know right now and we will cross that bridge when we get there”. What else can you say? I know he thought about it every day, but he had to put that thought in the back of his mind in order to keep a positive outlook on the whole situation.
I wanted to do something for everyone that is a survivor, so I got in touch with the local cancer center here in Palestine, Texas to see what I could do. They put me in contact with a lady here and I told her my plan and wanted to know what she thought about it. She said that was an awesome idea. Well we came up with the idea here at the fire station I work at to sell shirts and arm bracelets and donate all the money we raise to an organization called ” Paint Palestine Pink”. That organization provides yearly mammograms for women who cannot afford them. We started selling shirts and bracelets in December and have already raised nearly one thousand dollars and still counting. We are going to make the donation to them in October and from the way everything is going, it will be a good one!!
When you get the news of someone having cancer, do not miss a day of letting whoever it is know just how you feel. You have to play the cards of life when they are laid out on the table, and all I can tell everyone is to keep a positive outlook on the whole situation. It will get better no matter what the outcome. You have to keep yourself strong for the person who is going through with the process of the treatments and throughout the healing process. Keep your head up and you can always turn to the good Lord for some help.
I will leave you with this, being a firefighter, we get told alot that we are “heroes”. We are not heroes, we are just doing our job. The real heroes are the people who are survivors. They have overcome something that most of us will never know anything about or ever have to deal with. If you know someone who is a survivor, shake their hand or give them a hug. They will be more than happy to return the favor.
Love Ya Mom !!!