Franschara’s Cancer Journey
Franschara’s Cancer Journey began in September 2015 when she was diagnosed with Stage IIB Cervical Cancer. Earlier in April of 2016, she was able to get the necessary surgery and her test results came back cancer free. Now there are additional medical complications, intense financial burdens, and constant fear of cancer returning, but Franschara doesn’t believe in giving up. For her, it’s not just about the journey to survive, but also about her will to survive.
“I felt numb, scared, shocked, and also betrayed. I felt like my body was trying to kill me. I also felt very alone. When I was diagnosed I did not know of anyone that had ever had cervical cancer to so I had no one to talk to about the experience I was about to endure.”
Throughout the last year and a half, Franschara has had her fair share of hardships. When asked about the most difficult hardship she now faces, she talks about balancing her need for support while wanting to protect the ones she love.
“Trying to remain positive, trying to keep myself busy and occupied, and trying to continue to be there for others while they were going through things [was hard]. I was always the person people came to for encouragement and I couldn’t even encourage myself so I didn’t know how I could be supportive to everyone else. I also struggled with being open and honest with my family. They have seen me sick before and I know how hard it hit them and I just thought it was better to keep certain things to myself instead of sharing with loved ones to protect and shield them from my harsh reality.”
Her greatest comfort during this time has been her 8 year old son!
“My greatest comfort is my son. He seems to be in tune with how I am feeling. He has learned to be more self sufficient and has really been a huge help around the house. With all that he was going through seeing his mom sick he still managed to buckle down in school and end the year with straight A’s.”
She also shared with us the best thing that has been done for her since her journey with cervical cancer began.
“The best thing anyone has done for me was respected my privacy, my friends and family reminded me on a regular basis and that they loved me but they gave me the space I needed. They would call or text weekly to check on me and give me inspiring words but they weren’t overbearing when showing love. I never felt overwhelmed when they reached out. I also thank my family and friends for being there to support my mom and my son through this process also. Coming to pick my son up for a day or a weekend so my mom could get a break, cooking or bringing us dinner, coming to clean my house, and just SHOWING me they loved me and not just telling me they did.”
Her community of support knew just the right amount of love and care that she needed. But sometimes when you have cancer, you forget to take time for yourself. Franschara shared with us things she has learned from her battle.
“My best advice is to allow yourself time to allow things to sink in, do your research, be honest and open with family and friends because they love you and they are there through thick and thin. Also I recommending using this experience to learn how to treasure the simple things in life. Learn to live life NOW, because you don’t have time to wait until your older. There is no guarantee for tomorrow so enjoy today, TODAY.”
Here are some things she would say to someone going through a similar battle that she hopes will help make their journey easier: