Cancer Mom Advocate Kat Cruz - On Motherhood, Health And How UV Care Ph Changed Her Family
Kat Cruz, a full-time working mom of two boys and married to the love of her life, admits that she grew up in a sheltered environment. Because of her childhood background, she feared not being able to fulfill her role as a wife and as a homemaker. When she got married at a young age, her life turned 180 degrees from being a driven career woman to a full-time housewife. This was a set up she and her husband agreed on to give her time to adjust and learn the ropes. The huge adjustment to married life plus her lack of household skills got the best of Kat. This caused her difficulty in breathing to the point of passing out, of feeling alone, overwhelmed, and filled with self-doubt. After having herself checked, she found out that she developed an anxiety and panic disorder.
Three months into marriage, she found out she was pregnant and that’s when she realized life got too real for her. She was going to be a mother soon! Kat’s pregnancy was tough because her anxiety and self-doubt heightened. But she shared, “by God’s grace, I was able to see the pregnancy through and we welcomed our first son a few days shy of our first wedding anniversary.”
Today, Kat’s been married for 8 years, is a full time member of the workforce, balances her role as a trade consultant, a wife and a mother at home, and a rookie childhood cancer awareness advocate in between.
Get to know more about Kat’s motherhood journey, her advocacy, and how a great product discovery, UV Care, became a life-changer for and her family.
Motherhood And Family Health Journey
Motherhood changed my universe in a profound way – where there are fewer I’s, my’s, and mine’s, and more they, them, and theirs. I wouldn’t say I was a selfish person prior, but I didn’t know my capacity for selflessness until I became a mom. I would give anything for my children, anything. And that for me, is the best and the most challenging part of being a mother.
The best and the most challenging part of being a mother is having that capability to give your children the very best version of yourself, and drawing strength you never knew you had, all without compromising self-care and your “me” time. I read this Bob Marley quote somewhere before and it perfectly defines what my motherhood journey has been and what it continues to be like today: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
Could you share your struggles with health in the family?
One of the struggles we’ve had at home from the very beginning is that we are a family of allergic rhinitis sufferers. Coupled with living in a house located on the roadside, it has always been tough keeping the sniffles away. What most people don’t know is that allergies, when prolonged and left untreated, often lead to upper respiratory infection. That’s why I do what I can to keep the cough and colds under control before they lead to something worse. My husband has weather-proofed our windows and purchased an air purifier for our bedroom in an effort to keep the allergens and pollution out.
I never thought my son would ever have to go through this, especially not at such a tender age. I never thought I’d become a cancer mom, a mere 2 years after losing my own father to the big C. There were lots of things I never thought of and was unprepared for.
But the biggest health crisis I’ve had to face as a mom was my youngest son’s leukemia diagnosis. In the latter part of last year, I started to notice persistent coughing in my then 1 year old son. We paid lots of visits to his pediatrician but nothing worked. What’s worse is he started developing bruises all over his legs and eventually, even on his back.
I will never forget the day we brought him to the ER. I wasn’t too fearful thinking it was just one of those quick visits where we are prescribed a list of medicines to buy and then get sent home. Little did I know that from there, our lives for the next few months were going to revolve around needles and blood extractions, blood transfusions and medicines I’d never heard of before; that there were going to be big, foreign words that felt far too scary to be pertaining to my child; that it was cancer… I never thought my son would ever have to go through this, especially not at such a tender age. I never thought I’d become a cancer mom, a mere 2 years after losing my own father to the big C. There were lots of things I never thought of and was unprepared for.
The initial shock was the worst. I was crying on an almost hourly basis. I couldn’t eat and my entire body was constantly shaking. If I wasn’t on the hospital bed with him, I was on the floor in the corner of the room, smothering my cries and internally screaming at God for abandoning me. It’s just one of those moments you refuse to believe is real. You can’t imagine how many times I wished to wake up from the nightmare.
How did you rise above these health challenges in your family?
I began by walking my walk of shame back to God.
What helped was the strength of my husband. He truly became my rock during this time. I felt the fear in his heart, as every father faced with his son’s grim diagnosis would have, but he never once let me see it or burden me with it.
We were also blessed to have been referred to the best pedia-hema-onco on this side of town. He has been nothing but reassuring since day 1 and it was he who got me started towards ending my panic and self-pity and actually facing the situation head on.
I began by walking my walk of shame back to God. The darkest days in those first few weeks were the ones where I had my back turned on Him. But once I surrendered and allowed Him to take over, I started to have direction and purpose.
Kat’s Life-Changing Discovery of UV Care Products
I am proud to say that the devices have helped to keep our little patient at home infection-free since he started his treatment…Thanks to UV Care.
During my son’s confinement, he was started on chemotherapy and we were oriented on the health risks of Immunosuppression. My son was automatically placed on reverse isolation, and virtually everything he came into contact with had to be sterilized. I knew we were going to be sent home once the first few rounds of chemo had been administered and when he was deemed stable to leave, so I started doing research on how I can replicate in our home the setup that we had in the hospital.
I booked a deep cleaning service and discovered that they have powerful vacuums for lifting and eliminating deep-seeded dirt in mattresses and sofas. I wanted to buy one but it was out of our price range, especially after taking our current and upcoming medical expenses into consideration.
I found myself on UV Care’s page and I immediately bought their vacuum. I use it to maintain the cleanliness of our mattresses, pillows, blankets, and the play mat and soft toys in my sons’ playroom. It has powerful suction for lifting dirt, but the real bonus is it’s equipped with a HEPA filter and has a UV-C lamp, so whenever I use it, I’m able to get rid of those nasty allergens in the air, and kill viruses, germs, bed bugs, etc. on the surface at the same time.
Since then, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to use more of UV Care’s devices at home. We have the portable germ zapper for sterilizing the various rooms in our house, the multi-purpose UV sterilizer for my son’s milk bottles, cups, plates, utensils, medicine holders, etc. and a pocket sterilizer that I bring with me when we go for outpatient chemo.
At first, my husband was skeptical about the effectiveness of these devices, but 6 months into using them in our house, he now believes as I do that it is this technology that has helped us stay disease/infection/allergy-free for this long – kind of a record in our household considering our eldest is in grade school already and gets exposed to a lot of potential diseases in school. We’ve also been using it extra often whenever someone develops a cough or a cold and we’ve noticed how it helps stop the spread of the virus, and shortens the duration of the illness itself.
Mostly, I am proud to say that the devices have helped to keep our little patient at home infection-free since he started his treatment. He will be on chemo for 3 years (2.5 years more as of this writing) and what we’re avoiding now is delays in treatment caused by fevers, low blood counts, or infections. Thanks to UV Care, we have so far managed to stay on schedule, and we hope to keep this up until he “graduates” from chemo and becomes completely cured.
Passing On the Value of Prioritizing the Family’s Well-Being
Indeed there’s beauty in brokenness. This happened when Kat was pushed against the wall and had to muster all her courage to rise above it, when she started accepting her child’s situation and decided to do something about it, when she stopped wallowing in anxiety and fears, and when she faced every challenge with a fighting spirit, especially knowing God is bigger than anything and everything.
“It pays to do your research. Nobody wants to skimp on healthcare, but there are plenty of options in the market that are kinder to the pocket, but equally (if not more) effective. However, it also goes without saying that some investments are worth making when it comes to health and wellness. It might break the bank now, but the long-term savings are far greater, and the peace of mind is just priceless.
Lastly, always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t procrastinate. Have it checked right away. Don’t put your family’s health at risk just because your instincts might be wrong. After all, there are no right or wrong questions when it comes to the health of your loved ones.”