How a Mother Overcame Mesothelioma – Part 2
Yesterday, we shared part one of our exclusive Mother’s Day interview with mesothelioma survivor, Kendra Ferreira. We now pick up where we left off…
MesotheliomaGuide: Has being a mom helped you to support others with mesothelioma?
Kendra Ferreira: I enjoy talking to others with mesothelioma and helping them with the journey. Just recently I spoke with a newly diagnosed patient who is a young mom. She was reading all the negative information about mesothelioma on the Internet and was in tears. We talked for a long time about focusing on her treatments, being positive and enjoying her children. I urged her to get support from friends and family. I have heard somewhere that women and men with cancer who have children seem to fare better in cancer treatments because of having the needs of children.
MesotheliomaGuide: Do you have any special traditions on Mother’s Day?
Kendra Ferreira: The last few Mothers’ Days, as with most holidays, we have spent with my dad who is now 87. My brother and his family come for the weekend and we all get together, but we let my dad choose the restaurant. In fact my youngest son just asked, “since when did it become ‘Grandfather’s Day’?” I’m just happy having all three boys together with me.
MesotheliomaGuide: Has your recovery affected your relationship with your children?
Kendra Ferreira: I have a fantastic relationship with all three of my sons. They have all grown up to be sensitive, caring adults to others around them. I know part of this is because of what I went through, as well as what we all went through as a family. My middle son’s girlfriend recently told me she has never heard him ever say one negative thing about me. That made me feel really good.
MesotheliomaGuide: Do you have any advice you can give to other mesothelioma patients with kids?
Kendra Ferreira: My advice for others would be to keep life as normal as possible, but at the same time be honest about what the cancer patient is going through. They’re going to see you on bad days, losing hair, throwing up after chemo, and it’s all reality, but at the same time give positive reinforcement and spend time together. Also very important is to ask for help from family, friends and community. I found that people wanted to help in any way they could. My brother in law and sister in law stepped in to take care of the boys every time I went to NYC for my treatments; that was a tremendous help not having to worry while I was away. People were willing to bring over meals, take me to chemo treatments, or even just send a card or put me on a prayer list at church. I was so appreciative and overwhelmed at the support. It is there if you ask for it.
MesotheliomaGuide: Thanks again for your time and Happy Mothers Day!
Kendra Ferreira: Thanks!
We’re so grateful to Kendra for her time and for sharing her experiences. Visit our Facebook page to meet Kendra and other mesothelioma survivors.