As some of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. The National Breast Cancer Foundation and many other organizations around the country have a mission in place to help bring attention to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.
There will be plenty of local walks and community events this month to help bring support to the women and their loved ones who are dealing with the disease. To say my heart goes out to everyone affected is an understatement. Breast cancer is a topic that has recently hit very close to home. Thankfully, the family member affected was able to catch the early stages of it, and will only need to go through the most minimal treatment.
Last week, my entire family took a deep breath when the doctors said the disease did not spread to her lymph nodes. However, the past month of tests, trials, and waiting for results put a lot into perspective for me. First and foremost, I spent sleepless nights thinking about this family member and the amount of love she has given me through the years. I will always strive to have the type attitude like she does - brave and strong. As much as this has been a complete medical scare, it has also been a lesson on love (or shall I say, an appreciation for love).
As many cancer patients and family members know, there is a lot of time that is spent waiting. Being patient is indeed a virtue after the first biopsy, tests, surgery and scans are done. It was over a week until we heard the official test results and the severity of my family member's diagnoses. The frustrating part is that you have to turn off that control button and leave the guidance and expertise up to the doctors. That was difficult for me, as I am the type of person that is very reactive and often has a quick solution to any problem that arises. But, this was one challenge I needed to take a step back to and rather learn, listen, and let life do what it does best – work itself out the way it has planned.
Through all of this, the strongest person and shining star has been this family member. She has never complained or shown any form weakness. I admire her greatly. Always have - always will.
So, I leave you with a mix of emotions and takeaways that I hope ignites your mind to do some thinking. This month, I encourage you do something within your community that supports breast cancer awareness, but to also take a moment and reflect on the love you have within your own circle. Let us make it a point to always express our gratitude for life, and show love to the people who make it so wonderful.