My mother was diagnosed with cancer. It all started in April of my sophomore year when she complained of exhaustion, nausea, a back ache, and bad breath. I remember the day perfectly. It was Easter morning and my mom was scheduled for a procedure to examine what was predicted to be a blockage in her bile duct; it was also the Easter we found out that it wasn’t a blockage or build up, but rather a tumor. A tumor that would require four surgeries, three months in intensive care, and the rearranging of her whole digestive system. But out of those one hundred and twenty two days spent in ICU alone, the moment that sticks out in my mind was the day I walked in and no longer saw my mother. The woman that was in front of me in no way physically, mentally, or emotionally resembled the strong female figure that raised me. Her once fiery red hair was now dulled. Her porcelain white skin looked grayish. I was scared to hug her or even touch her because her once sturdy body now looked so breakable. They barely fed her. All they gave her to eat were ice chips. The moment I walked in ready to tell her about my day at school, I could hear her begging, pleading for more ice chips. She had already sneaked in more than she should have, and when she thought no one was looking, she would drink the forbidden water that would melt into the bottom of the bowl. In that instance, a bitter sweet feeling overcame me: that was the woman I knew and loved; she saw what she wanted and went after it. That feeling soon disappeared. I heard her scream out in agony “It hurts, don’t do that, it hurts” as the nurses pierced her skin with a pain reliever. I’ve always disliked injections, but that made me loathe them. When it became too much to bear, my father ushered me out of the room.That was the day of her first emergency surgery, and the day she almost didn’t come back alive. I remember feeling so helpless, as if I was a child again. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t a child. My mother had raised me to become an intelligent, mature, and brave young woman. In that moment, I would have to act as the person my mother raised me to be; a person my mother would be proud of. In this difficult time, I learned a lot about myself. I learned I possessed as inner strength. I learned to be patient, and to ignore all the petty dilemmas I once deemed life altering. I learned how to deal with fear, frustration, injections, and surgeries. But most importantly, in seeing my mother’s fierce bravery and independence, I learned that I was very much like her.