Steve Jobs is not alone

Cancer sucks. We all know that. But maybe someday we’ll have all the answers. This week we’ve lost a brilliant mind, one that didn’t give up when the answer wasn’t quick, one that thought about the unthinkable and achieved the amazing. Perhaps the next “Steve Jobs” of the world will be in cancer research?

Imagine all the goodies this bad boy (or should I say girl?) can whip up?



Here’s another story sent by a reader…and if you’d like to enter my KitchenAid giveaway for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, be sure to head to this post and leave a comment. Simple as that!

I was getting married August 28th, 2010, and was going to begin my first year of teaching August 22, 2010. So that summer I was very absorbed in my own little world thinking only of myself. The last week in June my mom had her annual appointment with her doctor and they had found a “small lump” and wanted to do surgery just to remove it.

My mom had told me not wanting to upset me (why do mothers do this?) that she was having a small surgery the first week in July to remove a small definitely benign lump in her breast and she wanted me to come stay with her in Bismarck and take her to the surgery ( I live in a small town in the south eastern corner of the state).

Honestly looking back it is ridiculous how uncaring I was at this point in time. I was thinking only of myself and my life and said sure I would come stay with her, but didnt really ask any further questions or offer much sympathy other than the minimal amount. I went to stay with her thinking that she was 100% sure that this was a non-cancerous lump and we went out to supper the evening before and probably talked about nothing other than me and my life.

The next morning at the surgery check-in everything was as normal (uncomfortable) as routine pre-surgery things can go. During surgery I sat in the waiting room reading my book thinking nothing would go wrong. After the surgery my mothers doctor came into speak with me and took me into a “private” room. She told me that it was as she and my mother had feared that the mass looked to be cancer. She said the lump was about the size of an apricot and they could not get it all so they would have to do more surgery and also do a surgery to test her lymph nodes.

I was shocked. Since my mom had not led me to believe anything could possibly go wrong, I was blindsided and felt instantly terrible.

SO began our journey with cancer. There were two more surgeries in the month of July.  She began radiation the week before my wedding and chemo after the wedding.  She finished treatment and was dubbed cancer free in the winter of last year. She is still cancer free. I cant even believe this happened to my family.

It really is true that you think that will never happen to me until it does. I still can’t believe it has happened. Just 2 weeks ago I was at a doctor appointment and they were updating my file and asked if there was any family history of illness they should have and i said “NO” then all the sudden it dawned on me “UHH, My mom had breast cancer”. The nurse looked at me like this girl is crazy how does someone forget that. I havent forgotten I think I am still in shock. I am amazed that my family even went through it.

While my mom was going through treatments her best friend from high school was also going through treatments so they found alot of comfort in each other. It truly is amazing how many people this disease affects.

Thank you so much for sharing. I think sometimes as parents we try to protect our children, even at our own discomfort. I’m sure your mom thought she was saving you worry, when in the end, it was harder to find out in such an abrupt way. As frustrating as it is, it’s all out of love. I know, my mom does the same thing!

Enjoy your weekend everyone…schedule a mammogram, screenings, whatever it is your doctor suggests. I have yet to hear a doctor that says, “Hmmm…it seems we’ve found this cancer too early.”

Wordless Wednesday – Stories of Survival

Today, I will stay quiet. Today is about you. And here is one of the stories that was sent to me by one of my readers. Feel free to comment, offer support, cheer on and any other way you’d like to communicate. And can I just say, I’m completely blown away by the response this giveaway has had…blown…away.

Thank you to Rhonda Darbro for sharing this:

Cancer has effected me in a huge way over a lot of years. And it continues to do so.

I lost a Grandmother to ovarian cancer in the ’70’s.

In 1978, my mother, at age 45, was admitted to the hospital on CHRISTmas Day, for surgery the following morning. On CHRISTmas evening, the surgeon came in to see us. At that time, he informed me that testing indicated that we were probably looking at breast cancer. Sure enough, it was confirmed cancer and Mom had a radical mastectomy with removal of lymph nodes. Mom never really recovered from it. The next 4 years were filled with radiation and chemotherapy and a 2nd surgery. She passed away in February 1982, at the young age of 45.

In 1981, at the age 50, my Dad started having trouble with his vision in one eye. After a trip to the eye doctor, he found out that he had a detached retina. He was referred to a surgeon who scheduled him for surgery repair. However, during surgery, the surgeon came out and informed us that Dad had cancer of the eye and it couldn’t be saved. Pathology reports came back saying that it was melanoma. In the fall of 1986, my Dad started feeling ill most of the time. The doctor never could really figure out exactly what was wrong with Dad. After visiting another doctor and more testing, it was determined that he had melanoma of the liver. The oncologist that Dad was sent to told us that once you have melanoma, it will always recur at some point in time. And that at some time it will show up in the brain or the liver. We found out in February 1987. The oncologist said that once it hits the liver, there wasn’t any hope, only prayer. I was pregnant with my 1st child with a due date of April 30th. The oncologist told us that chances were Dad would not be around to see his 1st grandchild. Dad volunteered for an experimental program at M.D. Anderson in Houston in the hopes of a miracle. I guess Dad did get that miracle in the way of getting to see his 1st grandchild…..a grandson named after him, born on May 3rd, 1987. In September of 1987, my Dad passed away at the young age of 56.

Late last year, that 1st grandchild, my oldest son, now 24, came down with a persistent sore throat. Then early this year he finely went to a doctor that finally did some testing for him, we found out that he had cancer in the throat…..lymphoma. He had surgery followed by treatment. The surgeon said that the cancer was caught early because if his persistence of going to doctors trying to find out why his throat wouldn’t quit hurting. My son’s prognosis is good right now.

I peronally had a breast cancer scare 5 years ago, but when the surgeon went in to remove my tumor, the biopsy came back, precancerous, but benign……Thank You God……the POWER OF PRAYER!!!!! What a wonderful thing!

Wow. Thank you so much, Rhonda, for sharing. I will be sharing more stories throughout the month. If you wish to share yours, go ahead and send it to me, and I’ll post it throughout the month. This has been an amazing learning experience for me, and it has opened my eyes.

Thank you.