Editor’s note: Each day this week we will be presenting stories by someone affected by cancer and plans to participate in the annual Relay for Life event 6 p.m. Friday at New Houk Park in Clovis:
It’s funny. For some reason, God said to me, ‘this is your cause, this is the way you can help,’ before I even knew there was a personal reason.
My mom had just gone to Michigan to visit her best friend who had cancer. After the trip, she seemed really tired and just didn’t feel well, but mom wasn’t one to say much or share a lot with us. I didn’t even know she’d made an appointment with a doctor and gone in for some tests.
Mom must have had a feeling something was really wrong, because she asked me to go with her to get the test results. Just by looking at the doctor’s face, we knew it was bad news.
He told us mom had a large mass on her liver. I remember hearing it affected 80% of the organ, and that the cancer was aggressive and moving fast. We went right to the hospital for two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit.
At night, I slept in the back of our Suburban in the parking lot, so I could be with her as much as possible during the limited visiting hours. She hated that, thinking I was uncomfortable, no doubt.
She couldn’t eat anything and spent most of the time sleeping. It all happened so fast. From mid-August that year, we would spend a couple of weeks in the hospital, then a couple of weeks at home, back and forth. Both attempts to administer chemotherapy failed.
Mom died October 7, 2004. Her name was Joan Bowers and I miss her.
We’ve been involved with the American Cancer Society since the late 1990’s. Our contribution has been — and remains — donating the T-shirt printing for the area’s Relay For Life events each year.
It’s the one thing we can do to help make a difference.