It is that time of the year again. Breast Cancer Awareness month is right around the corner and every October I decide to do a Breast Cancer walk in memory of my mother and all of the other women/men who have passed away from this disease. I will share my story with you, some statistics about Breast Cancer, and ask for you to donate to my team.
First, my story. I would like to ask you to read this with a complete open mind. Put yourself in my shoes for a few minutes. I am sure a lot of you who come to my website have been through something like this before in your life, so please do not take this post as a sympathy plea.
It was over 10 years ago when I found out that my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I will never forget the way I found out and how I reacted when I did. Imagine coming home from work, you are 18 years old, and when you pull up in your drive way you see your mother in her car crying. I was shocked, worried and extremely concerned. Once my mother knew I was there, she backed up, and left, leaving me wondering what the heck could have been wrong. At this time, I am not sure if she had a cell phone. I do not remember trying to call her, but I do remember laying on the couch with our dog waiting for her to come home. When I heard the garage door open, I immediately sprung out of the chair and leaned on the stove. As she walked in, I could tell something was wrong, but deep down inside, I never thought it was going to be this. I kept asking her, begging her for information, and then she finally just spit it out, “I have Breast Cancer, stage three”.
My jaw dropped. I didn’t know how to comprehend this. I was young, stupid, naive, and just didn’t get what it meant to be “stage three”. After I cried in her arms I had to do some reseach of my own. Stage three Breast Cancer is one stage below the worst. I could not contain myself after I read this. In my eyes, my mother was dying in front of me and there was nothing I can do about it.
My mother went through the entire thing, she had chemo (which took a large toll on her body), she lost her hair, she had surgery. She was a fighter. She wanted to live, she wanted to see her boys make it in life.
She was cleared to go on vacation with my dad. Once she landed in Las Vegas, that’s when things turned. I still remember my father calling me and informing me that it was a good idea that I hop onto a plane and get to Vegas right now. My brother came up from college (he was in MD) and we drove to the airport and flew out to see her. This is the part where I have to stop with my story. I remember everything from this point on so clearly, however, it is way to hard to tell this part.
Long story short, she passed away in hospice care.
Statistics are kind of crazy. You can read the full list at breastcancer.org.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- In men, about 1 in 10 breast cancers are believed to be due to BRCA2 mutations, and even fewer cases to BRCA1 mutations.
- About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 — especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
Think about the very first statistic for a second. 1 out of 8 woman will develop breast cancer. Think about your woman friends you grew up with or went to school with. Will it be one of them? Will it be you? Boy, I really hope it isn’t.
I really encourage you to read the other stats at breastcancer.org.
I am not asking you to donate because you have to. I understand we all have different feelings when it comes to Breast Cancer or donating to specific things. I am not asking you to donate money you do not have. However, skip on that Starbucks coffee for the week and donate to something that will hopefully safe a life or two.
On Saturday, October 27, 2012, I will walk for all those woman who lost their life to Breast Cancer. I will walk for the woman who are struggling with it now. I walk for you.