grandmother sitting and smiling with two grandchildren on lap looking at family photos

My Hope for My Children and Grandchildren

As lung cancer patients, we stare down death every day. Whether it is our own mortality or losing our cancer friends we make along the way of our journey. We face this negative fact every day. But, every once in a while, something happens to make us realize, lung cancer does not control our life and it isn't our first priority.

Finding strength from my grandchildren

Three months ago, I was lucky enough to help my granddaughter come into this world. The things I learned that day are profound and keep me going every day. In two months, I will help my grandson come into this world. Nothing can compare to that.

While we were waiting for my granddaughter's arrival during labor, I cried numerous times. First and foremost, I was grateful that I was here to see this wonderful life arrive. When she was born, I balled my eyes out for fear that I won't see her grow up. But in the end, when I went to bed that night, I realized how much I appreciated her birth while death is staring me down.

It helped me concentrate harder on my healing and continuing my fight. My first grandchild is 11-1/2 now and I know he will remember me. But will the two babies born in 2018 remember me? Oh, you can bet my life on it that I will. I have faith that as I continue my treatments, I will spend every moment I can with them.

The reason I breathe

I don't know what the future holds for me but I have learned I can make each day better by staring into my babies eyes and know that they are what sustains me to continue with all these treatments and tests. It is for them. My children and grandchildren are the reason I advocate and spread awareness about this horrid disease that doesn't discriminate. They are the reason I get up and go to the hospital several times a week. They are the reason I breathe.

You may have just been diagnosed and can't understand why I am so happy and fulfilled and not depressed. Shortly after my diagnosis I dove into advocacy for this disease and will continue to do so in the hopes that my children and grandchildren will not have to ever face this harsh reality themselves.

My hope for my family

I want them to live joyful, healthy and happy lives. I don't want them to ever worry about their health. I have watched my seven children come into this world and 2 grandchildren. Life is their's for the taking and they should always have the joy that while Nanna may die while they are young, they will know Nanna did what she could do to help prevent others from traveling down this journey. What greater gift can we give to our children.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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