As many may know, October has become known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are so many great fund raisers and organizations out there for research, education, and financial assistance, and as the disease has made its way into my family, I wanted Weaving & Weather to take part in the national movement to raise awareness.
My mom is a 7 year breast cancer survivor. My mom is my hero.
In 2007, my mom discovered a lump in her breast and out of precaution, saw her doctor who performed a lumpectomy to remove it. She didn’t want to make it a big deal, and neither did I, because I knew that there was no way my mom could be susceptible to cancer. After the quick surgery and recovery, she and my dad went in to the doctor for the biopsy results. I remember thinking that it should be a very quick appointment and that they would be home soon. Several hours later they finally came home, with the unsettling news that there was malignant tissue in the tumors that were removed.
On March 13, 2007, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer. At that stage, she had 4 spots of cancer in her breast, and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes under her arm.
She started Chemotherapy treatments in April of 2007 and continued the treatments through August of the same year. Once she finished Chemo, her doctor performed a second lumpectomy, to remove any remaining tissue that had been cancerous. She then went on to Radiation treatment 5 days a week, totaling 40 treatments. Monday through Friday, a friend or family member would drive her 2 hours each way for Radiation; once she was back home everyday, she would go to work and resume her day as usual. She was, always has been, and always will be a fighter.
Her last Radiation treatment was right before Thanksgiving in 2007. After that, she continued to take medication for 5 years, and has slowly come down from a doctor’s appointment everything 3 months to now, only once a year.
My mom is a fighter and a survivor. She is the strongest and most faith-driven woman I know, and I feel very fortunate to be her daughter. 2007 was a rough year; it was extremely difficult to watch my mom go through treatments, knowing that everything was out of our hands. But I knew, and my family, our friends, and community knew also, that God had a plan and would take care of my mom. And He did. With a lot of love, prayer, and support, my mom led our family through her fight with breast cancer, and we are so much closer because of it.
She was too young, too busy, too loving and caring, and too full of faith and hope to have something like that happen to her. But cancer does not discriminate. The disease can happen to anyone; and as it has happened to my mom, my sisters and I know that we have to be very proactive and attentive in our own lives concerning our health in this matter. And no matter what your own family’s health history consists of, I encourage you to be proactive in your lives as well.
In light of the impact that breast cancer has had on my mom’s life and my own, I have woven a collection of 4 pink scarves to sell during the month on October. 75% of the sales from each of the 4 pink scarves will be donated in my mom’s name to our hometown’s local chapter of Pink Heals.
Pink Heals is a national organization that is divided up into local chapters that operate on their own in their community. 100% of the donations they receive go toward helping someone in their local community who is going through cancer or another debilitating disease. The Oklahoma Panhandle Chapter, helps by providing gas cards to those who need to travel to and from treatments and assisting with bill paying for those who need help financially. In addition to the funds they provide to individuals, they have two pink fire trucks that they take to non-profit events to raise awareness for breast cancer, as well as doing home visits to raise morale. If you want to know more about the this charity you can find the Oklahoma Panhandle Chapter Facebook page here. Or if you are interested in looking at the national site to find out if your local community has a Pink Heals chapter you can find that information here.