Friday, February 27, 2015

The Big C Hits Home

I’ve been laboring over writing this post for quite some time, and it’s honestly one of the main reasons that I had been ignoring the blog for a while. It has taken up so much of my mental attention; it was hard to bypass any time I sat down to consider writing something else.

But, we cannot move forward until we are forced to face reality, and the reality of the situation is, I need to get this out. 

 In October of 2014, right before our wedding, right before the holidays, my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  

As you’ve probably read around these blog pages before, I’ve always been a huge supporter of all things breast cancer related because it’s frankly something that has plagued and pecked at our family for generations.  I’ve done walks, fundraisers, and relays all in an effort to make a personal attack on a disease that removed so much from me, from us as a family.  And to have it hit so close to home now has been a blow I was entirely unprepared for, especially now living 6 hours away.  

Thankfully, now that so much time has passed, we know that my mom will likely triumph and beat this round of cancer like a champ.  But as she begins radiation today, the final step to reaching the desired end status of “cured,” I’m overwhelmed with different emotions about the journey we’ve been through in the past five months.

The champ pre-surgery!

We’ve sat together in waiting rooms for biopsies and scans.  We’ve flocked together waiting for that phone call with results and listening silently as the sentence was handed down in as sterile, clinical, impersonal a fashion as you could imagine.  We’ve cried together, broken down, and watched each other’s blank stares as we contemplated what was to come.  We’ve conferred with an army of doctors and specialists.  We’ve retreated to quiet corners alone to let it all out. We’ve researched endlessly.  We’ve traveled miles and miles, taken days off from our lives, dropped everything, and waited.  We’ve traipsed and paced the halls of Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.  We’ve waited out surgeries. We’ve made difficult decisions.  We’ve spent sleepless nights as caretakers and recovery nurses.  We’ve accepted the good news with the bad.  We’ve realized just how strong we can be.

She wanted to walk
out post-surgery...

It’s been a really long 5 months, and the journey isn’t over yet, but the clouds have parted enough to make the bright beam of hope bearable to view again, and we’re trudging through.  Thankfully, after her radiation treatments over the next month, we should be in the clear.  And for that, we cannot be grateful enough to the doctors, Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital, advanced cancer research, the radiology doctor who first noticed the tiniest little blip on a mammography, the support we’ve received from the unlikeliest of places, and the way in which it’s bonded us as a family.

I’m sure I’ll write more on this someday in greater detail, even if it’s just for my own sanity or conscience, but it’s still a little too fresh for greater detail.  But I promise, I will definitely give updates on her progress.

Back to fab by Christmas!

And please, PLEASE, make sure you’re doing self breast exams and getting your mammograms and annual lady doctor visits completed.  Don’t put them off. Don’t wait for things to work their way into a problem.  Early detection saves lives. My mom is just one example as proof!

Do consider donating to cancer research as well.  We’ve all known someone that’s been affected by some kind of cancer, and the only way we’re going to stop that heartache is by beating it, finding out how to stop it, and eradicating it for good!! Look into helping out the ACS, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial SloanKettering Hospital, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Susan G.Komen, Lustgarten Foundation or any of the other fabulous organizations that are out there in any way you can!!

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