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Interview with Tiffany Ann Morris

Morris, Tiffany
Hernandez, Oswaldo Jose
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places
Tiffany Morris talks about overcoming ovarian cancer at a young age.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Oswaldo Jose Hernandez interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
TM (Tiffany Ann Morris): My name is Tiffany Morris. I'm 19. I've lived in Mint Hill, North Carolina all my life. Um, I go to Central Piedmont Community College-.
OH (Oswaldo Jose Hernandez): That's it. OK. Um, all right, so you said you had surgery. Like, when did you know something was wrong?
TM: Um, I started like, having like really bad pains in my stomach and everything, and I went to the emergency room-.
OH: OK. So you went to the emergency room and then what?
TM: Um, they started running all kinds of tests on me in and they took me and did ultrasounds on me, but they couldn't find nothing, but seeing that, uh, I had been bleeding internally, so they went ahead and put me under, and they did surgery. It took like four hours. Um, when I came out, they had told me that they had found a lemon sized tumor, on my, or in my fallopian tube and they had to remove my left fallopian tube, and left ovary. And all this happened at the age of sixteen, so I was like really scared and I didn't know what to do. I was, you know, crying and upset and hysterical. All my family was there. Um, after they sent off the, uh, the fallopian tube and the ovary, or the tumor, they called me back in about two or three weeks later to let me know, you know, what it was and that's when I found out that it was cancerous. That was, um, ovarian cancer and so straight after leaving the doctors, I was, um, set up to do chemotherapy. Um, the chemotherapy lasted about a year and a half. And the chemo made me really sick, it, you know, took my hair and, um-.
OH: How'd you get through school?
TM: Um, I was not, I wasn't able to go to, you know, my regular school, which was Independence High School. I was home-schooled. I had a home bound teacher come out to my house and I did the four major courses, uh, you know, I needed to graduate or whatever. But, uh, if I couldn't make it, you know, they would come out to my house, or if I was doing my chemo, they would come out to the hospital and teach me up there. So it was, it was pretty cool. I mean-.
OH: OK. How did, um, your boyfriend help you out?
TM: Um-.
OH: And what's his name?
TM: My boyfriend's name is Brian Skidmore. He's 22. Um, he actually was really cool. He stood by my side the whole time. He shaved his head when I had to shave my hair because, you know, you feel a little uncomfortable. Um, I don't know, he would, he was, just real, real cool about it. I know it hurt him a lot, but, I don't know, he really helped me out a lot.
OH: And you guys stuck together ever since?
TM: Yep. Going on five years.
OH: Wow. All right, so what happened after the surgery?
TM: I was released, see I took the whole year and a half of chemo and then, uh, went back and had the checkup and my doctor released me. He said that, you know, I had a good enough chemo where I could build a cushion to where, if the cancer came back, it had something back to fall on. Um, I go back every nine months for checkups, just random checkups to make sure, you know, the cancer hadn't come back. Um, I was released that year and the next, the following August I was ( ) class, graduated. I got my diploma.
OH: So, um, how'd you meet your boyfriend, Brian?
TM: Um, actually, I was dating one of his friends and he was dating my best friend. And, come to find out he was just dating her to get to me [laughs]. So, uh, he ended off, breaking it off with her and I broke it off with my boyfriend. We went on a couple of dates and hung out and figured out we liked each other, so-. From then on we started dating and going places, and just, uh, last month we bought a house and we moved together. And everything is going good.
OH: So, what do you do when you're not working or when you're not in school?
TM: Uh, well me and my friends we all get together, and my boyfriend, and, uh, I like to go fishing, so we normally go out to Mountain Island and go fishing for the night or the day, or whatever. Um, I don't know, it's relaxing and you don't have to worry about anything you just clear your mind and fish! Um, I also, I just like hanging out with my friends, I have them come over to the house and we watch movies, play Playstation or whatever. I just, I don't know, I like being around a lot of people, around my friends and hanging out.
OH: So, since you've turned 19, have you had an exciting life, or a hard life, or what?
TM: Uh, I think I had, pretty much a hard life 'cause I'm the baby of the family, and I have five older sisters. I have both of my parents. I guess with me being the baby of the family, my sisters picked on me a lot, you know. Even though, I'm a daddy's, you know, baby girl. He took up for me and whatever. They just really picked on me hard. And, uh, just all the health problems in my family. I think my dad's had like, 12 heart attacks and my mom's had a stroke. And then me having my cancer, it's, it's just been really tough, but we stuck together, we're still a family and, you know, that's a big-.
OH: That's good. Tell me about your work.
TM: Um, I work at Food Lion. Uh, and this is my first job. I started here in '99 working as a cashier, and then in May of the following year, I was moved up into the office and titled as a FEAST, which is kind of like the manager, or underneath the manager. They do office work and, you know, help run the front end and give lunches, help out the other cashiers and stuff. I like it. I mean, it's really nice, the people I work with's cool and, I don't know, it's, it's easy. It's fun. I don't know, you're working with other people, and especially with the customers. You've got some cool ones that will just trip out with you. And then you got the other ones that are just mean and like to pick on you and, you know, yell at you for stupid stuff. But other than that, it's a, it's a good job. I plan on moving as soon as I finish up my program. I have two semesters left in college. As soon as I finish that, I think I'm go on and see about getting a better job, working in an office somewhere and doing maybe insurance or, you know, working with computers or something. That's it!