Thursday, August 26, 2004

Breast Cancer

My mom beat it twice. Help others beat it too by clicking to fund free mammograms.

I remember when my mom suffered through her first bout with the cancer. I was so scared, but my mom never let me see her sweat. I remember coming home from college to visit and my mom, sister and I were all sitting around talking at the kitchen table.

This was in the very early stages of her diagnosis/treatment. I don't think she was feeling the effects of the treatments at this point, or if they had even started. Mom was sharing what she had learned about the disease and then she pulled out a catalogue. I looked at it and mom said something like "help me pick one out" or "do you like this?"

I stood up and had to leave the table. I walked away and tears flooded my eyes. I was so afraid. I was seeing my mom in a way I hadn't ever seen her before. I was seeing her as a mortal. My mom is mortal. I was afraid I was going to lose my mom. My mom has cancer I thought, and she is asking me to help her pick out a wig? Like it's some fashion statement? Like its a sociable thing to do?

I had such a rush of thoughts going through my head. It was so confusing. It was so scary. I remember grinning too, as I thought about the strength of my mother in that moment...that she is the one who was ill, seriously ill, and yet she was the strength in the family at that moment. I just couldn't handle it! I HATE it when Mom is sick! Mom is the one who is calm, cool, collected and ever so optimistic. So much so that she is enjoying having her daughters sit with her and help her pick out a wig in preparation of the side-effects from chemo! My mom blows my mind sometimes!

I remember one night when I was student teaching waiting for my parent's to arrive to see me "perform" as a band director for my first time as a student teacher. I was so proud of the work I had done with the band. I was waiting and waiting for them to arrive at the school and they never showed. This was unusual because they always arrive when they say they are going to, and they are always early too! (I'm still the same way!) I was worried about them that night because I didn't know what happened. When I called, dad didn't even realize they had missed something. They were preoccupied, with every reason to be, with mom's health. She had developed complications with the implants or something and had to go in to deal with that emergency. That was one moment that made me realize the severity of the illness and the complications of the treatment. My parents attended every softball game, every band concert, every awards ceremony and anything and everything I participated in. They missed one that night, and I missed them.

Mom did all the doctors asked her to do and was treated. She conquered the cancer and returned to the doctor periodically for I think seven or so years. Just when the time was coming that she could rest easy, the cancer returned. Again, mom, while not as physically strong anymore, endured massive radiation treatments and beat that nasty disease again! My mom beat cancer twice!

This all came back to me tonight when Mom sent me an email requesting that I purchases pink and white M&Ms to help fund breast cancer research. I am never one to really pay attention to fwds, but this one I did because mom sent it. She knows I don't do fwds! LOL So, I looked into the validity of the fwd and learned that the promotion was in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) of 2003, but at one forum I did find this statement: "The promotion is real and is good September through November, 2004 - M&M's will donate 50 cents to Komen for each 8oz package of special pink & white M&M's purchased retail September through October or through their website where the offer is already available." The statement was made by "anonymous" and on a messageboard at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation site. I couldn't really find an official word yet, but anything as an excuse to buy chocolate WORKS FOR ME!

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