Powerful in Pink

As a celebration of breast cancer awareness comes to a close, one mom reflects on her journey.

Sofia Klem

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It was a beautiful September day as Antioch Community High School mom, Lisa Morris, was telling her family about her diagnosis of breast cancer. L. Morris was diagnosed with cancer in 2010; which marked the beginning of her emotional journey. Her family had to stay strong during this process and help their mother with anything they could. Kiara and Robert Morris had to mature and take on more responsibility, being L. Morris’ two oldest children. Thankfully, L. Morris has been breast cancer free for eight years, but the family still is healing. When she found out in nursing school she was very scared, as anyone would be if they had to tell their kids they have cancer. To begin her own personal journey through cancer, L. Morris thought the best first move was to tell her dad.

“I told my dad immediately after I found out and he helped me move things forward and get appointments and pay for opinions, second opinions, doctor after doctor after doctor,” L. Morris said. “We asked if I could wait to have surgery and the doctors said, ‘absolutely not, you have to have it immediately because it is so aggressive.’”

L. Morris’ children were very young at the time of their mother’s cancer. R. Morris was 11, K. Morris was eight and Aaron Morris was four, therefore he remembers the least. Since K. Morris was so young, she felt confused about everything that was happening, but was still supportive and gentle towards her mother. L. Morris made it so that her kids couldn’t visit her in the hospital because she didn’t want them to see her sick and worry more than they already were.

“It did affect me a lot because I was so young,” K. Morris said. “I didn’t really understand it so as I got older it just kept making me more nervous about the upcoming years because I thought she was going to get breast cancer again.”

L. Morris and her family feel extremely lucky for the fact that the doctors successfully removed the cancer through surgery. Convinced by skillful doctors, she chose to have a double mastectomy rather than a single to remove the cancer and eliminate the chance of the cancer spreading to the other breast. If a different choice was made, L. Morris stated she could’ve died at age 40, but thankfully they caught the cancer at the right time when she had the surgery at 37. Before she had the surgery, she was very frightened. L. Morris, her family and the doctors didn’t know if she was going to survive the cancer or not, which made the process all the more traumatic and terrifying.

“It was a really sad time and it always makes me upset thinking about it,” R. Morris said. “It taught me that anything could happen to anyone.”

The emotional trauma the Morris family went through was rough and will always be in their memory, but luckily the family is healing well from this journey and L. Morris has remained cancer free to this day.