Laurianne's Hope

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One of my blog buddies, who calls himself The Mindless Dribbler, posted a very touching post* about his mom. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We hear so much about breast cancer, and it is so funded, it is easy to forget that people still die from this disease. MD lost his mom to breast cancer this past year. I believe it was April 2006.

It is important to remember that lung cancer can affect anyone, even a non-smoker, anyone can get breast cancer. Men typically do not get mammograms, but like women, they can do a monthly self-check to make sure there are no lumps in their chest region. Despite all you hear about breast cancer, there is still no cure!

I am sure after reading MD's story, you would not want to see any loved one have to go through what his mom did. (And if you have a moment, you can see in his comments the effect cancer has had on others as well.)

Mom...

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month...and one of my best friends.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Being breast cancer awareness month, it's bringing about mixed feelings for me. Not that I'd ever declare a month dedicated to breast cancer awareness as stupid, not at all...but just the fact that it raises so many uncomfortable thoughts, I'm kind of feeling....sad and inspired at the same time.

I'll tell you my own personal story for the sole purpose of recognizing how important getting your regular mammogram is. Mainly because I wouldn't wish this on anyone, not even my ex wife and that in itself speaks volumes of the cancer's ability to darken even the brightest of days.

The last month of my Mom's life were the hardest for me. I helped get her in the tub for her baths, I helped set her on the portable toilet we kept by her bed, I helped change her clothes, and Trish and I laid in her bed with her to keep her company. I could understand this if she were 80 years old...but at the time, she was only 56.

For most of her last month, she was incoherent in speech and void of any meaningful conversation.

The night they took her to the hospital for the last time, my sister called Trish and I and told us to come to Mom's house as quick as we could. We showed up and they were "prepping" for her return to the hospital. The last sound I heard issued from Mom's mouth was a scream filled with such agony and pain that I had to turn away. As bad as that sounds, I couldn't look at her. It killed a part of me, mainly because I knew the inevitable was upon us.

Once we reached the hospital, they started the morphine until 4 days later, her last day. I never heard her voice again. The only sounds were of her labored breathing.

I have seen up close and personal the ravishing effects breast cancer has on a person. I have seen eyes that have always shone with such life and optimism turn into windows to one's soul where I could see nothing but sadness and terror. A mouth that had always been so quick to smile and tell you that she loves you, turn into a permanent grimace from the pain endured.

I not only lost my Mom to the vile cancer, I lost an amazing friend who'd call out of the blue and offer to buy me lunch once a week. I lost a guidance counselor and a teacher. I lost an inspiration....a "holy spirit on two feet" as her husband once told me.

On one of her many stays in the hospital, she came shuffling back to her hospital room from the chapel and told us about a family that needed praying for, someone she had met while there praying. I thought "here she is, fighting for her own existance and yet, she's down in the chapel praying for everyone else". That was just her character.....she never changed or waivered from being selfless.

Breast cancer isn't a joke. For your own health and peace of mind, get your yearly mammogram. Breast cancer doesn't just affect the one it inflicts, it takes a part of everyone that's close to that person.

I'm proof.

You folks be careful.
*(Warning: This isn't his typical style for a post.)

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda (Laurianne's Sister) :: 8:52 AM :: 2 people are more aware
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