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Common Bonds | Joyce Mitahorizontal rule

photo of Joyce Mita

Joyce Mita has been battling breast cancer for ten years. She is now a stage four metastatic breast cancer patient, with cancer in the liver and bone as well. She fought for her medical plan to pay for acupuncture treatments, and won. Joyce says, "I know there is no cure, but I want as much quality and quantity as I can get." Joyce's doctors have told her that there are no other interventions. She has a son, Ryan, nineteen and a daughter Allison, sixteen.

On Friendship
My community around me right now is my friends. Those same friends that, believe it or not, some of them I've had since third grade or fourth grade. They have a long history with me. I think what has helped the most is keeping in close contact with them so that when big things come up like my diagnosis of cancer, that they were right there for me and they remembered me when I was healthy but they weren't afraid.

On the Fear of Dying
That I have no idea where it's going to end. Am I going to get a few more days, a few more years? I'm always looking for a miracle. I'm in hospice care now and they think of it as a six-month program. I don't buy that but I like the services. My children are what keep me going and they won't let me go. I just know that. When we talk, my oldest son Ryan, who is now nineteen, one night he said to me, Allison and I, we are going to be okay And I said to him, well, what about me, Ryan? And he said, Mom, you will be okay, too, and we just cried. I couldn't believe how much faith he had. I think that probably, hopefully will become internal to me so that as I face death, I won't be so afraid of the unknown.

On Her Legacy
How do I handle it? I think I've tried to give out so much, everything that I know: all the wisdom that I may have. I think I'm trying to impart it, especially with Ally cause she's only sixteen, but try to give everything that I know, my knowledge to her now, hoping that when I do go, I can feel more confident that she has had the mom in me. I'm getting to the point where after almost eleven years, I really can see. I am grateful for that time that we've had together because I think when the time comes I will feel it's okay for them, that they're fine people. I think I'll be there in spirit at their weddings. That's how I feel. One of the gifts is to see my children develop and to grow and to know that they can handle just about anything.

Next: Wendy Johnson

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