Cancer, Challenges, and Bonding through Crafting

 Cherise (Left): “I have only been making jewelry for 8 or 9 months. I am a church secretary, and I started because I have all of these little bibles at church, and I would take verses and make them into jewelry. I do this with my daughter. I soon branched out to other types of jewelry based on faith and believing.

“Faith is something that is very important to me. In October of 2014, I was having issues with sleeping and eating, and I wasn’t sure what it is was. I spent a lot of time going back and forth to the doctor and telling him that something is wrong, that I was not feeling right. The discovered I had a tumor, which ended up being cancer. At that point I had to have my stomach, my spleen, and my gallbladder all removed. And then a month later, my daughter Jaime gave birth to my first grandson, Weston, and a week later he was diagnosed with cancer.

“Right after my surgery, I was slipping into a post-surgery depression, and Jaime came to see me after they discovered Weston had cancer, and she told me, ‘Mom, I really need you now. You need to snap out of this.’ And I say to everybody, that was my gift from God. The timing of my grandson’s birth was my gift because I know I wouldn’t have snapped out of it as quickly. It was only a month after my surgery, But she needed me at the hospital with her, and we needed to deal with that together.

Jaime: “He had neuroblastoma on his neck, and they had to operate on him when he was only two weeks old. I know I was hard on my mom, but I was so scared and I really needed her with me. She really came through for me. Thankfully they were able to get all of the cancer and he is totally ok now. He continues to see an oncologist, but he is doing great, thankfully. He is a real wild child now.

Cherise: “I was so thankful he was doing so much better. But then the following April 2015 my cancer came back, and I had to have half of my pancreas and all of my liver removed, and now I am on chemo every day for the rest of my life. I think I have always been very optimistic and positive, and I know these things happen to people all over the world, and I don’t feel sorry for myself. I am very blessed with 4 grandchildren now, and it is the best time of my life, and I am very happy to be alive to see this. So here I am now with my daughter, enjoying making jewelry and being with each other.”

Jaime: “I try to keep a positive attitude and be strong, but it’s hard what my mom has gone through. She is my best friend. If anything ever happened to her I don’t know what I would do. I don’t have anyone else like her in my life. But I try to be positive. We have been close all of our lives, and it has been special what we went through together. Now we do craft shows together, enjoying the time we spend together, just the two of us, especially after everything we have been through.”

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