Breast Cancer Awareness
One Easter Sunday several years ago, me, my sister and my new baby drove to my mom’s house for our traditional Easter dinner. I could not wait to taste her home made mashed potatoes and cinnamon rolls. When we knocked on the door and mom opened it, we knew something was wrong. Mom plucked Caitlin from my arms, ushered us inside and sat us down and said she has something to talk to us about before dinner. She told us she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and her mastectomy was scheduled for the following Friday. For the next 6 days, I did as much research as I could about breast cancer, trying to find her chances for survival, what to expect from the surgery, what her recovery may look like, how we could help take care of mom. The place I trusted the most to raise my breast cancer awareness was The Breast Cancer Society. Not only did I find a plethora of facts about moms cancer, treatment and recovery, I also found it was recommended my sister and I schedule a mammogram as soon as we could. Although we were only 35 and 36, mom’s the website said now that we had cancer show up in the family, we needed to be seen ASAP and each year after. Mom was joking with us up to the time she was wheeled into surgery and had a smile on her face when she woke up in recovery. She said she had reason to celebrate as the surgeon only removed one breast and her lymph nodes were clean. Mom said she would have 6 months of chemo and would see her doctor often until she was officially in remission. We helped change mom’s bandages brought her ice cold slushees for her mouth sores from chemo and even went shopping for a “fake boob” so she didn’t look lopsided. Needless to say, mom took her cancer in stride and thankfully, years later she is still going strong.