Mother’s recent battle with breast cancer leaves student with an emotional lesson
As senior Cody Moore and her mother, Candi Moore, sat at their kitchen table, a nine-year-old shar-pei, chow mix came bounding into the room.
“Get down, Kona,” Candi said.
When the dog jumped down, his hot pink bandana was prominent against his dark fur. To any other family, a pink bandana might be nothing more than just a bandana. But for the Moores, it means much more.
Late last December, Candi was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.
“You always think it’s never going to happen to you,” Cody said. “It was shocking and didn’t feel like it was happening.”
Cody’s father, Bill Moore, had a similar reaction to that of Cody when he first found out about Candi’s cancer.
“I was just hoping and praying that it wasn’t [cancer],” Bill said. “[I was] praying that it was something else.”
Despite the unwelcome diagnosis, Candi is grateful to have caught the cancer so soon, especially since it was discovered at just a regular check up.
“I was shocked [when I first found out],” Candi said. “But I was happy because the reports were early. I was more scared of waiting too long [than of the actual cancer].”
Cody also saw both the positives and the negatives of her mother’s situation.
“The crazy thing is that it was caught early but it grew fast,” Cody said.
Along the same time as Candi’s diagnosis and treatment, the Moore family was dealing with multiple other family emergencies. Cody underwent emergency surgery for MRSA, a resistant staff infection, and her grandfather passed away on the day Candi’s first surgery was scheduled.
“It was terrible for the whole family,” Candi said. “It’s been a draining year.”
Even though she was the one with the cancer, Candi knows that it significantly affected the rest of her family, including Cody.
“I thought it was hard on Cody because she just didn’t have any control,” Candi said.
Bill agrees, especially when it came to dealing with the initial diagnosis.
“Early on, Cody and I had to come to grips with the chance that we might lose her,” Bill said. “That was the hardest part of all, was not knowing what the end result was going to be…because for me, she’s not just my wife; she’s my best friend.”
Candi decided to have a double mastectomy as a precaution and, after going through numerous operations, had her reconstructive surgery on Tuesday, Oct. 9. She and Cody agree that the support of friends and family is what got them through the trying moments of Candi’s cancer.
“I really believe that support got me through it,” Candi said. “I feel bad for the women who are scared because they have cancer and they don’t think they’ll make it. That’s not true.”
The family received numerous cards, treats and notes from those close to them.
“It brought everyone together, even our extended family,” Cody said.
Along with family and close friends, the Silver Stars dance team became a large support group for the Moores.
“We all knew it was a rough time for the Moore family and all tried to be there for Cody,” senior Anna Hughes said. “A couple of us stayed with her on the night of her mom’s surgery. But the dance team is so close in general, so we were all there to try and support her through it.”
Although Hughes supported Cody because they are good friends, it was also partly because of her close relationship with Candi.
“[Cody’s] mom and I are pretty close,” Hughes said. “I know that I could go to her if I needed something. I think that if it would have happened in my family they would have all been there to support me as well.”
Another avenue of support came from Bill’s coworkers, who got together and took a picture with pink t-shirts and signs with all of their names to give to the Moore family.
“I came back to my office one day and there was an envelope and a picture on my desk,” Bill said. “We weren’t expecting it at all.”
After her treatment, Candi is currently cancer free, and there is a 95 percent chance that the cancer will never come back. The family believes that they took all of the right steps, and they are optimistic about the future.
“We got lucky,” Bill said. “We think we made the right choice. It was the toughest decision we’ve ever had to make and it took a long time to make it. We did as much research as we could do to make sure we were making the right decision for her…But if it did [come back], we’d deal with it like we dealt with this.”
While many people might imagine that they would treat their mother differently after such an emotional experience, Cody has a different perspective.
“I don’t treat her like an angel now,” Cody said. “We still fight and I still feel like I treat her the way I did before. But we’ve always been close. It didn’t change who I was…but it made me appreciate how strong she was.”