CARING FOR CANCER
CREATING CANCER AWARENESS & HELPING THOSE WHO CARE
Photography: Rozlyn Melton; Melton Media 2022
CINDI & CIERRA
I'm Cierra, the creator of Cierra CM Art, and beside me is my mom, Cindi. She's not just my mom; she's my best friend, confidant, and biggest supporter.
THIS IS OUR STORY
Picture yourself in a room. The room feels cold and still. Your thoughts race as you await your doctor, hoping for clarity and confirmation. Time feels infinite in this moment. Then, a knock at the door. They enter, pause, and with a distinctive expression, ask,
"Can you have a seat?"
followed by, "We found something."
Silence. The once cold, sterile room suddenly became heavy and loud. Questions flooding our minds. As I held my mom's hand, the doctor continued to share their findings. With disbelief, shock and tears streaming down our faces, he continues,
" You may only have a few months..."
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
This was mine and my mom's reality late 2022.
Our world turned upside down, and we traversed through all the stages of grief in a short time. Then, one day, we decided,
"No. We will not give up."
We are a team and always have been. It was just another challenge we will face together. Graciously, our hope and our faith has kept us moving. The doctor had given her about 6 months and by April 2023, she had surpassed that diagnosis. Every month and day that passes has been a gift. This past year has by far proven our most challenging. While also facing many battles in my own life that carried pain, aside from this story. Nevertheless, we prevail, together.
Currently, it's been over a year since her prognosis. Though recently, we have faced different versions of this same war. This November of 2023, what we initially dismissed as a common sinus headache led to weeks of hospital visits. The revelation of multiple brain bleeds indicating that the cancer had metastasized, affecting her brain. Within a month, we face significant changes and new challenges. Frankly, I am navigating this journey solo, all the while also caring for my grandmother, who has been in remission from her own cancer battle since 2019. Assuming this new role as a caregiver to my mom has been one of the most challenging, yet honorable gifts. I genuinely can't envision myself anywhere else other than alongside her in this battle. She will not face this alone.
This is my wish for you or anyone facing a challenge similar to mine. It isn't easy; It carries a weight you may not always understand. However, I have grown into a woman, daughter and granddaughter that I am proud of. For a long time, I pursued my own desires and life goals, but seeing my loved ones transform in front of my eyes, changed and refocused those priorities. This has strengthened my faith, resilience, and patience. While I hope others won't have to endure such pain, I am profoundly grateful for the wisdom, self-reflection, and honor I've gained as my mom's right hand.
If anyone is going through this please feel free to Subscribe & write to us. We would love to hear your story. Know you are not alone.
"This may have started with a cancer diagnosis,
but this goes beyond."
CARING FOR CANCER
THE REASON BEHIND, DRIVE KIND:
This line of products is a representation of the minor, but impactful difficulties that my mom and I have faced during this time. Kindness is often uncommon and underrated, especially on the road. I wanted to create something that made people more conscientious of others.
Individuals undergoing these treatments frequently endure nausea and fatigue while traveling to and from their treatments.
It wasn't until my mom challanges that I truly understood the dire impact of road courtesy for those undergoing treatments.
After her care, I was more conscientious of driving. I did everything I thought to do. I used hazards, drove in the slow lane, and even had the handicap sticker. None of that made a difference. The surprising lack of patience from others frustrated me, as I understood the challenges my mom was facing. I observed their lack of consideration without them realizing the reality within.
My goal was to change that perspective.
I developed theses stickers to help people understand someone else's journey. A simple reminder can make a difference. Showing care is valuable. While kindness, such as driving courteously, holding the door open, expressing gratitude, or making someone smile, comes at no cost. Consider it even while your own world seems to be falling apart, and remain kind. In the midst of our own busy lives, we may underestimate the power of these acts of kindness and basic human decency. With these small reminders, my hope is that it offers a glimmer of understanding and respect to one another.
In my recent experience, and throughout this journey with my mom, I've encountered some of the most optimistic and appreciative individuals within these treatment facilities. I've observed many patients, family members, and beloved friends walk alongside these beautiful humans. It can take you aback when you witness what hope and love is.
Regrettably, there are situations where some individuals must confront these challenges alone or with only the support of caregivers. These beautiful humans can change your life and make you reflect on what truly matters.
Have you ever taken a moment to consider the perspective of the patient?
They receive a prognosis, endured physical pain and emotions we cannot begin to fathom. Heartbreakingly, in certain cases, informed they have a deadline and are asked to say their goodbyes. No one is prepared to hear or witness a loved one experience this. These humans I've met have changed everything. Despite this, they still radiate warmth, share their stories, truths, and even discuss the regrets and aspects of life they cherish.
Most importantly, I see them,
choose life, choose kindness,
choose hope, love and faith.
This journey has been an enlightening experience for us. We hope this can add a little perspective to those who may not face this. Sadly, we notice the reality and expansion of more individuals undergoing this.
We hope this makes a difference for someone.
"Our only wish is that you can choose to Drive Kind."
Big hugs & love,
C & C
Photography: Rozlyn Melton; Melton Media 2022