The Breast Cancer fight continues
It’s been a long interesting week, and I finally have a moment to share. After my diagnosis, I was connected to an acquaintance that had just finished her journey. She became a mentor of sorts—supplying me with cute hats, sending thoughtful cards and calling or emailing to check in on me. She was honest and inspirational all at the same time. We’ve kept in touch over the past two years—because breast cancer and the BRCA gene that we both share create somewhat of an unbreakable bond.
Just days before the Breast Cancer 3-Day, I learned her cancer had spread. The words our mutual friend shared with me twisted my heart, took my breath away and made me feel like I had the biggest kick in the stomach. Two days later, I walked and prayed and kept her in my continuous thoughts. The walk this year had a whole new meaning for me personally. I guess before this news, I lived in my blissful and optimistic world of thinking that those of us diagnosed with early stage breast cancer these days simply needed to do our time, have our surgeries, chemo, etc. and go on to live long healthy lives. While this news shattered that for me, I also felt incredible sadness for her and her family. I know her journey will be a tough one—I also know her incredible strength. On Monday Night, I got an email from her. She was back in the chemo chair as part of a PARP Inhibitor clinical trial. More hopefulness as these are the drugs that are showing the most promising results. She remains part of my daily thoughts and prayers.
About a year ago, I found a blog through my friend Pam. The blog was written by a young woman in Minneapolis raising three young children and battling late stage breast cancer 1 year after her early stage breast cancer diagnosis. I read her blog for several months following her journey. Just minutes after I read my friend’s email on Monday Night, I ventured over to Pam’s blog to learn that Cari had lost her fight. More heartache, sadness and the reality of this dreadful disease came crashing through me.
At the same time, breast cancer awareness month is kicking into high gear. I know there are many questions and potentially even criticisms about the amount of effort and money put into this disease. But we can’t stop. Not even for a minute. Not when stories like this continue every day. Breast Cancer is real and it’s cruel and we have to find a way to stop it in its tracks. It can’t continue to rob children of their mothers, to steal wives from their husbands, to make parents feel the pain from the loss of a far too young daughter. It must go away and until it does, I’ll keep fighting and I hope you’ll keep joining me.