My mom, Wendi Plantier, was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 10 years old. Of course, my first reaction when I heard the words, “I have cancer” scared me as much as it could. I probably cried as my mom cried when she spoke to my brother, Travis, and I. When she told us we would get through this together, that is exactly what it took. From the time Travis and my mom shaved their heads together before her hair fell out to the days where she would look at us and say “I’m not able to do that today, I’m too tired from chemo,” or the days she couldn’t hold bags from the store since the chemo gave her a reaction in her fingernails, WE helped her fight day in and day out. Over the course of time, there were good and bad days as expected but she always tried to make the bad days as good as they could be for us kids. She showed strength longer and more than I thought was possible at the age of 10. I took seeing her be strong with her cancer with me in my athletic career into playing baseball at UCSB. Using her example to get through tough days mentally and physically, realizing that what I was going through literally could not kill me and my problems were not nearly as big as hers and to suck it up and push through. She has been a source of strength for me my entire life, especially since June 2005, and will continue to be that. Breast cancer was scary but turned into a positive for myself and my family, for my mom surviving and using her as a strength, I am forever grateful.
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