The Truth Board

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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finding The Inner Cure

The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart. ~Nikolai Lenin

So many lives have been touched by nature: disasters and diseases.

As far as I could remember, my grandma always had breast cancer.

When I was a child, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t understand the cancerous lump on her left breast. The pain and fear that spread like wild fires.

Ever since my mother found out about my grandma, she has remained by her side.

A few years ago, I asked my mother what happened when everyone found out she had breast cancer.

We didn’t want to believe it, but it was real.

As I grew older and began to understand the thin line between life and death, I have always felt this innate fear and anxiety towards my grandmother’s health.

When I was in high school, the cancer hit her pretty hard. At that point, she had already had her breast removed. But the cancer found a way to keep living.

She went through radiation and chemo. She gained weight, grew sluggish, and lost her hair. She had moments of anxiety, emotional breakdowns, and sometimes, the will to stop to live.

She continued to persevere with the tough love and strength of her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

When I was a freshman in college, things took a turn for the worse.

My grandmother had been feeling unbalanced and not her usual self. My Mom took her in for some tests. A few weeks later, we received the results.

My grandmother had been in Mexico when we heard the news that her cancer had spread throughout her body, in places such as her lungs, knee, hip, and brain.

It was my first spring break as a college student and I had never felt such devastation and shame towards myself. It was my first year of college and I had neglected seeing my relatives, including my grandparents, on a regular basis.

Ever since I found out that the cancer had spread, I have made my family a stronger priority within my life.

When I was younger there were days that I would wish that God would take the pain from my grandmother and let me bear it for her. There were days when she was too fragile and there were moments when she was strong and overbearing.

As a senior getting ready to graduate, I am so grateful and fortunate that she will be there to see her first grandchild graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.

My grandmother is the strongest that I have seen her in a long time. She no longer depends on a wheelchair to carry her weak body. She walks without the support of her cane.

Although breast cancer has posed many obstacles, strains, and heightened emotions, each year my family gathers together to support the Breast Cancer Walk.

We have made tshirts and a poster with my grandmother on them, crossing out each day and year that she continues to fight and survive.

We gather in hope and love with everyone from everywhere who has come to run or walk in behalf of those in memory or those surviving.

Our family unites, lead by my grandmother, in the hopes of someday finding a cure.

Jennifer Ellspermann

Photo Provided by Jennifer Ellspermann


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