Why My Mother is a Hero – guest post

The Lungevity Foundation Group publishes some great stuff.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this with you all.

Why My Mother is My Hero

April 12th, 2011 – by admin

by Tyler  Rudnick

Language Arts 3/9/11                                                                                                                Period 5-6

My mom.

There are so many words that come to mind when i think of her.  Funny, vibrant, caring, and most importantly my hero.  I picked my mother as my hero because to so many people she was a hero, including me.  She was such a great mother.  Always putting my needs before her own.  Always taking me on a new adventure every day.  I never knew what to expect when i woke up but i always knew i would have a great day just because she was there.  There was never a time that she didn’t make me smile or laugh.  Even all my friends loved her and she loved all of them.  They all thought of my mom as a second mother to them, and she thought of them as her own children.  Always welcoming and warm.  She really did make you feel at home when you walked in.  Everything was just perfect until she got diagnosed with lung cancer.

At first no one would tell me what was wrong other then she was just sick because of my age. But I always knew it was more than that.  She had to go into the hospital multiple times but came out within a few weeks.  But as the “sickness” got worse she went into the hospital for longer periods of time and I was told that it was actually lung cancer.  I couldn’t bear to hear those words, and neither could my mom.  But do you think she let that slow her down?  No.  she stayed stronger than ever.  Even stronger than me.  She battled cancer for 5 years.  But she never showed a trace of doubt.  She made sure she did everything she could to beat cancer and still had fun at the same time.  She went on cruises and climbed waterfalls and went to beautiful islands with my step dad who supported her the entire time.  It wasn’t until my birthday that she got real bad.  She went into the hospital after my party and stayed there for many months.  She slowly got worse and everyone starting losing faith.  But not her.  Not my mother.  she’s too strong.  She made the nurses give her all her medicine at the right time and worked on breathing exercises.  The tests that the doctors held showed no sign of improvement.  It took a turn for the worse.  she quickly became worse and was told she may only have a few days to live.  Most people wouldn’t know how to handle hearing something like this. But, of course she could.  She took it as a chance to live the rest of her life to the fullest.  She made tons of jokes and made everyone laugh and never stopped smiling.  I didn’t know she had a few days left until my guidance counselor took me out of class to tell me my dad was here.  He told me he wanted to go to the hospital with me.  I knew right then she didn’t have much time at all.  When we got to the hospital all the nurses and doctors looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen.  I walked into the room and saw my mom smiling of course.  I stayed and talked to her a little while.  My grandma took me out into the hallway and told me they were going to make her fall asleep.  After she fell asleep they would turn off the machines that helped almost all of her breathing.  When i went back int the room i was only allowed to stay a few more minutes.  But I couldn’t even stay that long without crying.  My mom knew once I left it would be the last time she saw me and this would be the last time I ever saw her too.  I kissed her on the cheek and whispered “I love you”.  She whispered “I love you too”.  I hugged her and walked into the hallway and cried.  I was at my grandmas for my grandpa’s birthday party when my dad took me into my room and told me she had not made it.  It took me a few hours to register what exactly he had just said, and when it hit me I cried all night long.  but I can’t let those feeling get in the way.  I need to only remember the good times and stay strong like my mother had.  It takes so much strength to forget all your troubles and just live life like she had.  In the worst of times, she remained confident and fearless throughout everything.  May she forever remain in all of the hearts she has touched.

My family, friends and I, have a walk to help raise money for lung cancer research She has inspired so many people to have a walk of their own.  She was the first person to have a lung cancer walk in this country.  Now there are many across the country.  She started the walk when she had cancer . When she passed away we named it  The Heather Saler Lung Cancer Walk.  Over 600 people attend the walk every year and we raise about one hundred thousand dollars a year towards research.  It may be too late to save my mother but it’s not too late to save people in the future.

Hopefully one day there will be a cure for lung cancer.  Until then we will have this walk every year until a cure is found.

This is why my mother is my hero

Tyler and his mom, Heather

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About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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