Alina had emergency brain surgery the next day to attempt to remove the tumour, or at least get a biopsy and help correct the spinal fluid flow in her brain. I assumed the worst would happen as I held her and laid her down on the operating table for the anesthesiologist. I did not know then that I would be the last thing she would see.
Though cancer made me see my mom in her worst physical state, I will always remember her as a strong businesswoman and a dedicated banker. She was a woman who paved the way for many in my family who wanted to pursue traditionally male careers, encouraging them to chase their dreams and show the world that women are powerful, too.
The early signs of cancer are being ignored, and people are putting off going to see their doctors because of a variety of fears and their busy schedules. Having been through cancer, I can attest that nudging yourself out the door was the hardest thing I ever did. I was losing blood from a breast nipple. I knew it wasn't normal.