“I just wanted you to know I have Breast Cancer,” she said to me. “I’m having a double mastectomy in an hour.”
I don’t know what was more shocking – The fact that my mother had Breast Cancer or the fact that she was having major surgery in an hour and I was 5 hours away.
At first I was furious that she would tell me so late. But then I realized that she couldn’t tell me about it sooner, because speaking it out loud made it real, and making it real was too scary to face.
I drove home the next day, relieved to have the opportunity to yell at my mother in person.
Having gotten past the initial shock, though, I now faced the very real possibility that I would lose my mother to this insidious disease.
With a Stage 3 Cancer diagnosis, it was certainly within the realm of possibility that she would not survive the battle. But my mother is a fighter.
And so she found herself the best oncologist, signed on for the most aggressive cancer treatment available, and then she rented a slew of Marx Brother’s movies because she truly believed that she needed to laugh her way to a cure.
And it worked. All of it. My mother was diagnosed when she was 40… she is now 75. She faced cancer and she kicked its butt. Later, when technology caught up with her illness, we found out that she was positive for the breast cancer gene (BRCA 2), but by this point she had already had almost every body part removed that could become diseased so the odds were in her favor. The icing on the cake was that all of her children were negative.
When my mother got Breast Cancer, she was the only one we knew who had it. These days, 1 out of every 8 of my friends is battling Breast Cancer, which is also the national figure. It IS an epidemic. And the average age that a woman gets Breast Cancer is getting younger and younger. My friend Amanda was just diagnosed… she is 32 years old. She has two little girls and her whole life ahead of her. She also has Stage 3 Breast Cancer.
At a time when Amanda should be baking cupcakes with her daughters, teaching them to ride bikes, and helping them grow into strong, secure, independent young women, she now has to focus on fighting for her life.
So, now I have become a part of Amanda’s Army… a group of bloggers trying to raise awareness about Amanda’s fight and the urgency to find a cure for Breast Cancer. One of the ways I’m trying to help Amanda is to give her a way to laugh. My mother knew the healing benefit of laughter, so I’m hoping to help Amanda on her road to a wellness by sending her a couple of copies of my humor books. If you’d like to help, too, please visit her donation page to help her with the myriad of cancer related bills she will be facing. For more information, CLICK HERE
Cancer sucks. Let’s work together to spread the word and help blast cancer off this earth!!