My mother has been sick for as long as I’ve known her….well…almost.

I was 13 when she discovered that one tiny little pill under her tongue could make her chest pain go away. She stopped riding her bike with us. She put the badminton racquet away. She didn’t go to the pool anymore. Her body became her enemy.

The weight gain we could see. The blood pressure rise, we couldn’t. Her joints didn’t work like they were supposed to anymore.

Dr. Smith prescribed pills. Dr. Sykes was the specialist. Dr. Alexander did the first back surgery. Dr. Wilson did the second. Dr. Newton (or something like that) replaced the knee.

Yet, nothing has prepared her for this newest ailment. This ravaging condition that is consuming her. That affects every bodily system. Causes pain, nausea, fatigue. This newest ailment? They call it cancer. They say it is my father’s.

I know this is the worst illness my mother has ever had.