Today I'd like to take the opportunity to honor an amazing woman! A woman who fought cancer and won! This woman is the most amazing person I've ever known. (I know you'll agree!) It's my mother, Vickie!
Take a minute to read her story, then please, leave a comment honoring and supporting her fight.
- When were you diagnosed? In 1995; I was 45 years old.
- What is/was your exact diagnosis? I was diagnosed with stage 2 estrogen receptive carcinoma and now 17 years later, I continue to be cancer free.
- What was your initial reaction? Almost my first thought was “I don’t want to die.” I wanted to be around for my children; I wanted to be able to watch them grow up.
- Who did you tell first? I told my husband first and then my children.
- What was your treatment plan? I had a radical mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.
- What or who was your best support? My family and my church.
- What was the worst part of it? One of the hardest parts was knowing that your family was scared also and there was nothing you could do about it. The pills I had to take made me feel sick and some days I would just stare at them as I held them in the palm of my hand – knowing that as soon as I took them I was going to start feeling bad – again.
- Are there any services in our area or nationally that someone else going through the same thing should know about? Use the internet to read and research. Feeling informed was powerful.
- What is the best advice you got? Take as much time as you need to recover – from any surgery and chemo and radiation. It took me nearly 6 months after the end of my chemo before I began to feel “normal” again. There was one point shortly after my chemo ended that I really thought I was losing my mind. Give yourself time.
- Did you lose your hair? If so, did you have a wig and one that was your favorite? I didn't lose my hair – it only thinned.
- You were going through a lot, did you treat yourself to one thing more frequently that you wouldn't have normally done. Or a gift at the end of your treatment plan. Like, eat as much pizza (when you felt like eating) or get a pedicure once a week or go on vacation? I almost always had someone drive me to my chemo appointments and often then took me out for lunch after wards. My treat at the end – after it was over was to drive to town by myself and wander the aisles at Costco at my own pace and then have a hot dog at Weinerschnitzel!
- In a few words, how would you describe your breast cancer experience? I was very lucky!
I vividly remember the day mom told us she had cancer. I was sitting on a blue couch in our living room with my brother and sister. Like most people, the "C" word hit us hard. (Thinking back over it now, I am still a little weepy. Imagining her mental pain, her struggle for the right words and the courage to sit before us and insist that she would be OK.) We never thought it would happen to our mom because like most children, we thought she was invincible.
What I also vividly remember is her strength after her surgery and during her treatments. She did what she could for us (and more than she probably should have) and never showed her weakness due to the treatments. She wanted to make us proud. I know my dad, brother and sister would agree...she did!
Tomorrow, Saturday, October 20th, at 8:00 a.m. my mom will be running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in our city. Good luck mom! I know you'll crush this race, just like you did cancer!
Always ~ Momma Goose