Friday, October 16, 2009

Carnival Blog: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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I always knew that October was designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but wasn’t aware that it was also dedicated to those who have suffered from Domestic Violence. I have too many friends affected by this cancer; and with all the research done over the past years, I am still amazed when I hear a friend say “they found a lump”. One of my friends just recently celebrated five years of being Cancer free.

I will never forget that morning when she called me and said that it was discovered that she has Breast Cancer and was already in Stage 4. At the time I didn’t know much about what the different stages meant, but quickly learned as my friends were getting older, and it seemed I was getting these calls more too often. I can’t tell you the feelings that went through me after I hung up the phone that morning. After her surgery, I soon realized that not only is cancer a horrible disease; but the personal and internal feeling that a Breast Cancer survivor experiences I think are worse. Afraid to look in the mirror at those horrible scars that just saved your life, you now have to deal with the emotional baggage that comes with the healing. You begin to feel that you are no longer a woman, or desirable to your husband or boyfriend, and that besides being the realization that you are not only physically scarred for life, you are also mentally scarred. My friend , and is lucky to have a husband who not only was caring enough to go through the whole process with her, but his support and love really helped her through the difficult times. When I first when to visit her after her surgery, as she was lying in bed, I remembered her husband bringing us tea in a beautiful porcelain teapot and little cups to match and some cookies on a tray. In my mind I felt he was trying to say that no matter what you went through, you still deserve the best. Although she was never a religious person, I brought her a pair of rosaries, which she put next to her bedside, knowing that somehow prayer was also necessary in her healing process. After a year of radiation, chemo, and tamoxifen, the doctors determined that the cancer was gone and she started to begin the process of reconstruction surgery.

Going back to the doctor for her final check up before the reconstruction surgery, another dark cloud seemed to appear. They discovered a lump in her other breast, which also turned out to be cancerous. Sometimes you wonder why God picks you to be the one to bear such heartache of such a disfiguring disease, and then have to have to suffer through it again was really too much. This time, during her second surgery, besides having to remove her one remaining breast, they also had to remove all the lymph nodes on that side of her body. Well like I said it has been a long road of recovery physically, but also more mentally; she has just pasted her 5th year as a cancer survivor. It is funny, we usually try to meet for lunch at least once a week, and if no one knew, you would think she was the same beautiful person she always was.

We all think of this little tragedies that life brings, but when you see the suffering that one goes through suffering with Cancer, we should thank God in our prayers and know that whatever heartache may fall upon us, there is always someone who cares.

In my shop: are two Breast Cancer bracelets which I made in honor of my friend.
I will donate $5 from the proceeds of each sale to the Susan B. Komen foundation.

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