October-December flies by in an instant. It's Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas and before we know it we'll be eating black eyed peas, watching Ryan Seacrest and singing Auld Lang Syne.
Back to October...It's a great month full of pumpkins, cool weather, fall recipes and Halloween costumes. Until 6 years ago, one thing I always managed to overlook during the 10th month...or maybe just "underlook" was breast cancer awareness. Of course It's hard to miss the pink.
Pink Kitchen aid mixers, pink ribbons, Race for the Cure information, pink cupcakes...the thing is, it didn't affect me because it hadn't effected me.
Until it did.
Breast cancer rocked my world and changed my life. Forever. In late September of 2005 my mom found a lump in her breast doing her self breast exam. To make a long story short, she mentioned the lump to a few friends on the tennis court and by the grace of God and a few (very) persistent friends, she found herself in the doctor's office that very afternoon. (And those women will never know how grateful I am for their "we won't take no for an answer" attitude with my mom and for making that phone call and scheduling that appointment) Within 48 hours we had test results, and because of a dear friend who is a genius and wonderful Oncologist, he was able to tell us that things did not look good.
My beautiful mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation. She fought the fight against a savage beast and it took a lot out of her. She was tired, she was sick, and though she was physically weak she was mentally tough. And she will be the first to tell you that she never felt more peace than knowing she wasn't fighting it alone. Mom's faith carried her through. God carried her through. And she influenced so many lives as her friends and family saw her fight with grace, humor, strength and courage. She is a true testimony of grace and I am so honored to have her as on of my greatest influences and treasured gift.
Last week we had several individuals and several families participate in "cardboard testimonies" at church. It was wonderful, heartbreaking, encouraging, humbling and downright enlightening to see people, some I know well, get up in front of the church and share their story. We were able to see how God has lifted people out of the ashes and blessed their lives and the lives of those around them because of their journey. My mom was asked to participate, and as a first hand witness to her journey I can absolutely tell you her testimony has been far reaching.
It was SO incredible seeing her on that stage...completely healed. Cancer free. Praise God! I'm grateful for every day I have with her and I know that it's because of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the many other pioneers in breast cancer research, development and treatment. Without the hard work of these organizations, the funding and the fundraising we would not be where we are today in development and treatment. And my mom might not be here today.
So think pink!! Buy pink!! Donate to breast cancer research and one day (hopefully very, very soon) I will hold the biggest PINK PARTY you've ever seen when we get to celebrate a CURE! When we get to celebrate that no more women, men, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, friends...have to fight this ugly disease. Until then...fight like a girl.