Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about the destination ~Drake
Our life’s journey is our legacy, our history, to the generation who follows us. None of us is an island though, so other’s history blends and dissolves within ours, giving our story a richer patina and glow. We are, after all a conglomeration of all of our experiences, the good of us as well as those moments when we acted, perhaps, less than stellar. We travel happily along quickly through the good but at acute moments our road is abruptly turned hazardous. But it’s in these moments that our true selves are formed into the gracefulness we should become. I’ve had two such experiences in my life and they both correspond with these two old pictures of mine. The first resoundingly devastating moment occurred about ten years ago when my sister-in-law, best friend really, was diagnosed with leukemia. It was my first real experience with cancer and I can tell you, cancer can ravish not just it’s victim but all those around them with the oxygen consuming tenacity of a forest fire. She lived an additional 9 months, if lived is what you call it, I will tell you this, from the day she was diagnosed, she never returned home. And sadly, as I said, no person is an island because she never returned home to her husband (my brother), or to her two early teenage children who would no longer by guided by the loving tutelage of a doting mother.
The second such moment was the Bridal magazine toting, husband hunting for Cao, bundle of five foot nothing body of energy known as my mum. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. One in eight women will have breast cancer. One in five women will have “some” form of cancer in their life-time. We all probably know or have known someone with cancer. But this was my mom, not someone else’s, mine and she’s supposed to healthy and whole her entire life. I’d like to say her journey was easy, she always acted like it was, but I know the horror stories of mastectomies and chemo-therapy but thankfully (if you can say thankfully for a mastectomy), she has been cancer remission for 5 years now.
The fact is, with breast cancer, early detection has been shown to greatly increase a patients positive prognosis. Remember, breast cancer is an equal opportunity malicious disease. That sentence within itself behooves all of us, women, men, people of all ages, ethnicity, and background to play a more proactive role in our breast health. Learn it’s symptoms, learn self-diagnosis, just learn the facts. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it’s my hope that you will not only set every October as a reminder for you to follow screening recommendations, update your knowledge and self care/medical care but also as a moment to remember those you know or knew who had some form of cancer. Don’t let their suffering be in vain, let’s work together to find the cure. http://ww5.komen.org/breastcancer/earlydetectionampscreening.html