There are moments in our life we never forget, this was a string of just such moments.
My mother calls and tells me, ‘They found a lump in Grandma Cheryl’s scans…… It’s stage II Breast Cancer. The oncologist is putting together a treatment plan.” We start a family Facebook group to stay updated.
My family visits after treatment and while the grandkids are fascinated by the fact that Grandma could remove her hair and they could wear it themselves, the baldness from the treatment just makes me sad. They love trying on her growing collection of hats and scarves. I was glad for the distraction from how tired she looked. One of my uncles shaves his own head to stand in solidarity with her. Another uncle rides over 200 miles on his bike, raising money for cancer research.
Treatment is finished, Gram is a fighter, but didn’t escape unscathed, mastectomy of one breast was decided to be the best way to avoid the spreading of cancer.
My mother calls again, the day of Gram’s surgery, but this time it’s not about Grandma. There was something concerning on my own mothers recent mammogram–they had just called to schedule further testing. We later find out the lump is benign and easily removed.
Grandma’s scans are clear, her fuzzy, soft hair is growing back in, quite curly this time. They will be keeping a close watch and conducting frequent mammograms. Several family members participate in a walk for the cure event, again, helping to raise money for cancer treatment and research.
Yet another call from my Mother. Grandma hasn’t been feeling well, something is “off.” Another set of mammograms, more tests. Strong possibility of more cancer, this time in the other side of her chest. The first run of treatment was difficult enough. Gram and surgeon discuss at length what the best options are. It’s decided a 2nd mastectomy is the best option. Gram posts the following in our Facebook group and we pray this journey is finally over for her. “Four days ago, on Monday morning, I had my second mastectomy and also a surgical revision of my first mastectomy. I have absolutely nothing to boob about any more!”
I know many others with similar stories, many fighting their own battle at this very moment. Too many mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, fathers, uncles, children and friends at the bedside of those fighting this terrible disease.
We can all do something–there are many parts to play. Donate to your favorite local charity, educate yourself, schedule a mammogram, help another. Join us, tetonguitars.com/pinkcampaign
Until next time,