Friday, October 5, 2012
A Mother's Breast Cancer
“Cancer is so limited…It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot reduce eternal life. It cannot quench the Spirit.” ~Unknown (from Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life)
It seems like yesterday, but 17 years ago my mother lost her life because of this “monster” called breast cancer. At the time it was very devastating for her and for all the people around who cared so much for her. You know, my mother’s cancer was not any different from other people that go through the pain of this disease every day. What makes my mother’s cancer more devastating than other people’s suffering is that she never went to a doctor for her annual exams. The last time she visited a gynecologist was when my brother was born, and he was 37 years old when she died. My mother’s breast cancer was so metastasized when it was discovered that it was coming from the inside of her body to the outside destroying the skin of her breast. But above all this tragic and painful experience, what makes my mother’s death of breast cancer so devastating was that she was alive only 17 days from the day we learned of her diagnosis and the day she died.
We were not there for my mother during treatment, we were not there during recovery, we were not there enough time to comfort her, because when my mother’s cancer was discovered, it was already too late to save her. For many years there was not even one day when I hadn't thought of the suffering I lived with her during those 17 days after diagnosis. She was around us and we didn’t know; not because we didn’t care, but because she didn't know either. She was so scared to visit a doctor that she just closed her mind to the idea that annual checkups were necessary.
Now, after so many years I have been able to understand that devastation and suffering show up in our life and it is our mission to give a meaning to that suffering. I learned that it was up to me to learn from the errors that brought that suffering and apply changes to my own life.
After 1995 I have never missed my annual visit to my gynecologist and most important to my annual mammogram. I am very aware of the important role of preventive care. Programs for breast cancer awareness month from Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society have been on my list of annual donations. Participation on the walks and fundraising during the month of October have been on my calendar every single year.
There are no guarantees that my awareness of the preventive care will keep me cancer free. By any means that is not my message. My message after those 17 years is that even on the aftermath of suffering and sickness you can find a lesson of survival and improvement. For me it was that I will not close my eyes to the importance of prevention because I am scared or don’t want to know. If I have breast cancer “I want to know” as soon as possible so I can fight with all the force of my being.
October is BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH and it is my message to every woman in this Planet Earth, PLEASE GET SCREENED. You deserve it and your family deserve the opportunity to be there with you.
Let’s all get PINK!!!!
By: Evelyn Torres for AwarenessWisdom