Travis Rebel News

Is Cancer Death Or Life?

Loss as a result to cancer can sometimes be a teacher for those left behind

By Priscilla Trejo, Voices Editor


Priscilla and Angeles Trejo, wearing their favorite soccer team jersey while smiling at the camera. (Priscilla on the Left and Angeles on the Right.)

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear this word is Death.

That is what initially came to my mind when I was told, “Your sister has leukemia.”

It was shocking, how in a matter of seconds, my life and my family’s life took a drastic turn.

At first, there were so many why’s and thereafter, “I do not know” was the answer.

My family and I went from spending sunny afternoons, wasting our energy in parks to sporadically spending them in gloomy hospitals.

My entire childhood was spent taking care of my sister.

At such a young age, I took on many responsibilities which involved me being a caretaker for my sister. My sister was afraid of not being able to see the next day, afraid that she would not be able to become a doctor like she wanted to and afraid of not living her life; all the while, I was just afraid of the inevitable, losing her.

I spent my time grieving that I would not see her grow up to become the woman I knew she would be. At times, I knew all hope was lost; yet, I still dreamed that it would not be.

No one should see their loved ones in pain. My sister needed a role model, someone to guide her through the storm. Someone capable of lifting her up when her legs would shake and all hope was lost.

I can still remember a fond memory which remains carved in my mind.

Strands of hair were all over the floor, the sound of the electric razor could be heard from behind the door. As I open the door, the sound of sobbing and sniffling echoed through my head. I looked around my surroundings and came face to face with my sister and our mother who was shaving my sister’s head. As soon as my mother was done shaving my sister’s head my sister and I made eye contact. I notice that the glow in her eyes was gone, tears were running down her pale face. My sister quickly turned around, hiding herself from my view.

As a big sister, I felt a pain I have never felt before.

My heart filled with agony, confusion and even fear imagining the obstacles she had to overcome. I knew her life would become a living hell.

I did not want her to feel like an outcast, to feel like all eyes were on her, to feel like the center of attention.

With no warning or hesitation, I grabbed the razor from my mother.

I slowly took the razor to my head. Bits and bits of chunks of my hair fell slowly to the floor.

I slowly took the razor to my head. Bits and bits of chunks of my hair fell slowly to the floor.”

— Priscila Trejo

Once I was done shaving my head, I turned around to see my mother with a confused look on her face, but the look on my sister’s face showed something more. My sister had a million- dollar smile, and her eyes held admiration, love and appreciation.

Just seeing how happy my sister felt in that moment, made me feel warm on the inside; a memory that I will forever cherish.

My little sister passed away on October 25, 2010.

My family and I were devastated.

For so long, there were days when my parents could only spare me a quick glance, and some days, they ignored me. I tried to understand their emotions and what they were going through, but I was young and I felt hurt too; nevertheless, I did not stop trying to understand their feelings.

The grief for our family,  at times, was unbearable. Each of us tried to manage the best way we could.

Persistence and commitment was all it took for me to break my parents shell. The thought of me not helping my parents in their darkest moments hit me like a train.

Thinking that not only did I lose a sister, but I was at the edge of losing my mother. My sister’s death drove my mother to the point of suicidal thoughts. That would have been my breaking point. I could not bare to lose another significant person in my life.

It would have taken every ounce of me to not lose my sanity and I thank all this to my sister.

Angeles smiling for the camera after being told she was able to attend school again.

Looking at my life, I feel like my sister left all this for me.

She prepared me for my future. She made me the person I am today.

I am no longer the girl who would break down easily or the girl who would had no idea how to handle a situation.

I have overcome, and I have come a long way.

I can conquer the many obstacles life throws me.


The last thing that comes to my mind when I hear this word is Life.



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About the Writer
Priscilla Trejo, Voices Editor

Age? 18

Grade? 12th

Born? Austin, TX

What do you like about being on the newspaper staff? I enjoy being able to meet new people when interviewing them.

What are you future plans? As soon as I graduate from high school, I plan on attending college and become an occupational therapist.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy reading, it's like entering another demenssion.

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"Friendship does not end in death; it continues strong and true. For once a Rebel always a Rebel; Rebels true, Rebels true."
Is Cancer Death Or Life?