For this Time to Cry Tuesday I am joining some of my blog friends in the American Cancer Society Bloggers for More Birthdays blog chain. As part of a continuing effort to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays, the American Cancer Society Blogger Advisory Council is harnessing the power of women in the blogosphere to build awareness and activism around this movement. We have been tasked with adding our voices and sharing a story of how cancer has touched our lives. So consider me harnessed.
There are moments in your life that change you forever. Some are joyful and others are devastating. You remember where you were sitting, what the moments right before felt like and how that turn of events changed the way you view the world from then on.
It started like any other ordinary day.
And then the phone rang.
It was my dad. He asked if I was busy or could I talk. He seemed distracted. And then he just said it. “Listen, your mom has breast cancer.”
So, how do you react to that one!? I will tell you how we reacted. The way we always do, as a family.
Taking my mom’s lead we all sprung into action and dealt with it. Head on.
My mom? She showed us a brand of strength that we would stood in awe of. She kept her wits and most importantly her sense of humor through surgery, treatments and the misery of hair loss. My dad? He showed up one day at my son’s basketball game with my mom’s wig on to keep us all amused. My brother? He kept us all going with his undying ability to keep it cool and point out the absurdities that kept us laughing. Me? I did the research and made the binders. Hey, what can I say? I am a Virgo, it is how I cope.
Throughout her treatments she was always concerned about the other patients. One particular day comes to mind. A women was there for her first chemo treatment. She was a young mom and was so very frightened. My mom sat with her, held her hand, looked into her eyes and helped her cope with what she had to face. She acted like… well, like a mom. The quintessential mom. Even through this, her most difficult time, she kept reaching out to others.
I am happy to let you know that mom has been cancer free for 7 years. She has walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, proudly wearing her pink shirt hoping to inspire others to find the bravery to keep going. Her philosophy has always been one of reaching out to help others. When I told her about Bloggers for More Birthdays she embraced the idea of the movement. “Anything that will help build awareness and early detection is something I want to be a part of.”
Thank you mom, for showing me what bravery looks like, and for keeping the glass half full. I love you.