A white sterile room, horrid florescent lights and the smell of a doctor’s office. I sat there with my mom as we waited for her doctor to come in with results of her latest test and we received devastating news, my mom had breast cancer. I don’t think it really hit me until the day she was rolled into surgery for a double mastectomy, I gave her a kiss and told her I’d be back later for her. It was one of the longest days of my life. Surgery was projected to take a couple hours, yet after six hours, my mom was still not done. Of course my mind wondered, but I kept the faith. While I was waiting, I got a call from my GYN, Dr. M, he explained my biopsy results came back irregular and I would have to go in further testing, I had no idea what those irregular results would bring.
My mom was rolled out of surgery and to say I was hesitant to go near her would be an understatement. I was nervous and couldn’t figure out how I was going to care for my mom while she was recovering. My irregular results were weighing heavy on my heart, but I knew that I couldn’t tell her anytime soon. She needed to focus on herself, on her healing and on her battle. The drive home was challenging, I remember looking over and seeing my strong, confident mom in the fetal position in the passenger seat. There was never ending road work on Herndon avenue and she could feel every rock under the tires and every bump, wincing with pain every time.
Once home, our routine became pretty set over the next ten days. Check her drains, give her medications, bathe her, and dress her in ridiculous sun dresses, by the way, she still mentions those dresses… eight years later. We went in for her follow up appointment and her doctor explained they removed everything and got excellent margins, her incisions were healing perfectly and she was in the clear. Best. News. Ever.
During those ten days, I went in for another biopsy and fast forward a week, my results came back positive for cervical cancer, In-Situ. My heart dropped and I still refused to tell my mom, she was still healing and didn’t need any more news of this type. I had the cells removed, the area treated with Cryo therapy and went on my happy way. As most of my friends know, that seemingly minor diagnosis turned my life upside down and I ended up having a hysterectomy five years later, but more on that at a later date.
I’m writing about this challenging time in our life because two years ago my mom signed up for the AVON 39 walk to end breast cancer not only for her fight but because her best friend lost her battle in 2013; she had no idea how it would impact her life. The AVON 39 corporation is absolutely amazing and provides services and treatment to those that would go uncared for. She was completed three walks in two years, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and New York this past October. In just under two weeks, she’ll complete her fourth walk back in San Francisco. If you can find it in your heart, please donate any amount. It’s fully deductible as AVON 39 is a 501c and the funds do not line the pockets of CEO’s. My mom’s photo is used on AVON39’s website and I may be biased, but it brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. I have provided the link and also there are a number of pictures from her endeavors.