The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Josefina Trella

March 6, 2017

Have you had a family member with Cancer? Well, I did. When I was old enough to understand, it was a story that made me cry and a story that made me stronger. My grandma Winni had breast cancer. Today, I want to share her story through my experience.

My grandma found out she had cancer in 1985 when my mom was in college. Her cancer started at stage 2. When it comes to breast cancer, there are different stages. The highest stage is stage 4 and the lowest stage is stage 1. Grandma Winni had a single mastectomy which means she had her breast and cancer removed. She took chemotherapy for a few months and finally went into remission in the year of 1986.

In 2002, the year I was born, my grandma’s fight against cancer started all over again. One day while on a walk, my grandma was having a hard time catching her breath. She made an appointment with her doctor and the diagnosis was not good. The cancer was back. Her cancer has come back and spread to her lungs and bones. This time the cancer was at stage 4, the highest stage. All the adults in our family met with the doctors and decided on a path for the treatment.

Over Memorial Day weekend 2010, my mom, my grandma, and I went to the movies. During the movie, my grandma was having a hard time catching her breath. My mom and my aunt took her to the hospital and it was discovered that the last round of chemo grandma Winni took caused her to have a heart failure. A family decision was made that my grandma would go live in a hospice. A hospice is a place where people can go die peacefully without medical interference.

Sadly, my grandma died on September 9th, 2010 at the age of 71. She was a survivor for 25 years. Today, I am proud to always remember how strong of a fighter she was and that she was there for the best 8 years of my life.

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