Wear Yellow to Sting Cancer!

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

On Friday, May 6, students will wear a yellow shirt for everyone who has ever been affected by cancer. It’s not going to take you very long to find someone who has been affected by cancer. It could be an aunt, a cousin, a sibling, a grandparent, a parent or a friend. Most people know someone who has gone through cancer.

We found out my grandma had cancer during December of my freshman year of high school. The first year of high school is difficult enough, but finding out my grandma had cancer was harder to overcome than anything else.

Suddenly I was less stressed about my first finals and more worried about my grandmother. At this point my grandma was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and was told she had a year to live.

My grandma was able to stay at home but had to be on an oxygen machine. That Christmas was hard. I don’t know if it was running through anyone else’s mind but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This was probably the last Christmas with my grandma.

That toll on me didn’t stop me from being happy on Christmas. I had to appreciate these times with my grandma instead of constantly thinking about the cancer taking over her. We took our normal picture of all the grandkids with grandma and grandpa by the couch, and we had as normal of a Christmas as we could have.

Grandma was still herself. No disease could ever change who my grandma was as a person. That Christmas, although she was tired, she was still the same grandma that I grew up with and admired so much.

A few days after Christmas Grandma went back to the hospital when she couldn’t breathe. Little did I know that she would never come back home. She stayed in the same hospital room for the next three weeks.

Holy Family Memorial Hospital became a second home to my family during those three weeks. We were always up there to spend as much time with Grandma as we could.

I’m not the kind of person who has to be with people all the time. I honestly like being alone most of the time. I’d wander off sometime and walk through the hospital. I’d wander down the big staircase by the big window and into the cafeteria. It usually wasn’t open that time at night that I’d go down there, but I’d sit at one of the tables for a moment anyway. I could still walk into that hospital and walk you through my route and back up the same room my grandma stayed in for all those weeks.

The cancer process went by quicker than any of us wanted to, and my grandma passed away in late January with all of our family there. My grandma lost the fight that I was still hoping she’d come back and somehow win.

Those weeks before she passed away I was begging God for a miracle. God didn’t give me the miracle I wanted, but he did give me a few different ones. Our family became closer throughout those weeks, and although we lost our grandma, we all knew she was in a much better place.

It’s been over a year since I lost my grandma on that cold Thursday in January, and yet it still feels like it happened yesterday. My family still goes to the hospital chapel to go to a mass that’s dedicated to my grandma. When my family is talking to people after Church, I can’t help but want to wander off and walk my route down the staircase and to the cafeteria.

I am not alone in being affected by cancer. Practically everyone I know has a cancer story about a family or friend. It’s not easy. It’s not easy watching someone you love suffer, but having family and friends around you every step of the way is what helps the most. Being able to relate to someone’s pain is sometimes the way to help them through it. Unfortunately, we all can relate to knowing someone with cancer.

So pull out your yellow t-shirt in support of everyone that’s ever had to watch someone they love struggle through such a terrible disease. Do it for your mom who went through it; do it for your cousin; do it for your friend; do it for your grandma. Little things like these are what bring us all together.