This week my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is hard to take it in. This is not something rare, nor is it shocking based on family and genetic history. Still, the diagnoses is cancer. It’s scary. And, it is my mom this time…so, my childlike self cries out “it isn’t fair”! (and yes, my adult self reminds me that “life is not fair”)
It is unlikely that there is a single family left untouched by cancer in one form or another. It is an insidious and frustrating disease. Although there are so many more treatments in our modern age, and there are so many “survivors” among us – there is no sure prevention and we still have not found a way to eradicate it from our society! The big C word will continue to strike fear in our hearts, and cause untold suffering. It creeps in as an unwelcome and dreaded guest. It disrupts our lives. It weighs down on our souls.
There are almost as many kinds of cancer and diagnoses as there are patients. Each story is unique. Each treatment and approach must be considered carefully. Our family is optimistic that my mother’s form of breast cancer appears to have a very high level of success. It will be a painful road, and there are very hard days ahead. However, we are buoyed up by the prognoses that her doctors have given, and assurance that the outcome can be a positive one. We are thankful that she has been led to good doctors. We are overwhelmed with the many prayers and outpouring of kindness already shown in such a short amount of time. There is so much goodness and kindness in the world. Human beings are capable of sharing an immense amount of strength in times of suffering. When this happens, a little bit of heaven comes to earth.
The Savior promised; “Behold, I will not leave you comfortless”. Our family takes comfort in knowing that God is aware of our needs. His power can heal all wounds. We believe in miracles. We have experienced so many already in our lives. This faith is sustaining.
A plea to my dear sisters everywhere;
One in every eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family your risk is doubled. Early detection through regular clinical and self breast exams, as well as a yearly mammogram once you turn age 40 are the surest ways to fight the battle. Don’t put this off. It is so easy as women to take care of everyone else but ourselves. We are busy, we wear so many hats. But, time cannot be retrieved and it is not forgiving. If you have not had your annual exam yet, get on the phone today and make your appointment. Help the women in your life to be diligent. Please take care of your breast health! Do it for yourself, and do it for all of those who love you.