Feature Story: Mother Battles Cancer, 21 Years

Mother Battles Cancer, 21 years

Written by, Jake Hopkins

Four children sit on the bathroom-tiled floor ready to learn as their mother lay in a bathtub filled with water to avoid the pain that cancer has brought to her. With pencils in hand they get ready to learn the fundamentals of education such as Math and English.

Ruthann Jones insists on homeschooling her children while battling cancer so that she may spend more time at home. Due to the effects of Chemo Therapy, Ruthann would have the homeschooling done a month at a time. This allowed her children to continue to learn even during times where she was unresponsive.

“All school assignments where in a big 3 ring binder, the kids could easily look under the date, find their name, the subject, page numbers, when it was due and I also had tests prepared,” Ruthann says.

Ruthann has been battling cancer since 1994 when her youngest child of four, at that time was age 2. She was first diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer, which started in her leg and quickly spread to her liver, which soon began failing her. Due to the severity of the cancer and the failing of the liver Ruthann has been hospitalized many times.

Ruthann claims that her source of strength comes from her deep-rooted belief in Jesus Christ, her husband and her stubbornness.

“I didn’t want anyone else to raise my kids or share my husband, so I think my survival skills and stubborn personality kicked in,” Ruthann says.

Ruthann recalls receiving a blessing from religious leaders from her church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She remembers being blessed that she will be able to raise her children.

“My bishop gave me a blessing when I was in the hospital and he blessed me that I would be able to raise my children and see them grow into adulthood,” Ruthann says. “This blessing has given me strength to never give up and gave me peace that I would be able to raise my children.”

After her first round of Melanoma Cancer, Ruthann was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She received a Mastectomy and began the process of healing. After going into remission from Breast Cancer, she was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma Cancer in her left leg.

Ruthann says at this point in her life she wanted to give up because the side effects were so severe.

“There was a point about half way through that the side effects were so severe that I wanted to give up, my husband sat on the floor beside me and in tears begged me not to give up,” Ruthann says. “My husband said he needed me and couldn’t raise four children alone.”

Ruthann’s battle has given her many hospital stays and her Chemo Treatments give her awful side effects. Most recently her family says the Chemo Therapy has caused her to be silent and unaware. Her last treatment caused family to doubt her survival of the current cancer. Due to the recent incline of sever side effects of the Chemo Therapy she will now be hospitalized for each round of Chemo Therapy she successfully endures.

The current cancer, according to the Doctors, is not likely to go into remission. The Doctors are astounded that Ruthann is still alive.

“The Doctors told our family that they can’t do anything to make the cancer disappear and that we should have our Church continue to pray,” Nate says.

Looking forward Ruthann will continue to focus on her family, stay happy and how she can make a positive impact in her community.

“I surround myself with happy positive people, I discovered that helping someone else helps me at the same time,” Ruthann says. “There are people in this world with less hope and dreary circumstances, than I, that I can help and bring a smile to their face.”


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