This post is in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is this month, October. The post below, was written several months ago, March 9 to be exact. I had declined to post it, as I still wasn't sure I wanted to post it... I guess I was thinking it was a bit too personal. However, I have now decided to actually release this post as my contribution to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The News... (09/03/09)
A few days ago, was about early last week I got some very disturbing news. It was like something so surreal, shocking, it was to the point of numbing, I didn't know how to react. When I heard it, I was in total disbelief, yet it was true, I felt as if I was in a bad dream. Yet I could still feel the the temperature of the air on my skin. My sis called us into the room and sat us down, trying to comfort us that we should not worry, as she took a deep breath to tell us the news. She was rather calm, but no one in the room was, especially my mother who kept asking what it was, to the point where we had to tell her to just be quiet. Then my sis began to explain, she had felt a lump in one of her breasts, she did several tests and all confirmed that it was cancerous. We all sank, our hearts plunged into a pit of sorrow, mixed with disbelief, feelings of sorrow mixed with the anxiety of what can be done.
This was especially shocking to me, as I have never heard that my family has a history of cancer. I am all too familiar with Diabetes (often referred to as sugar) which my father has, Hypertension (also called high blood pressure) which my mother struggles with, but never have I heard about cancer. Then to learn it was someone so close to me, my own sibling, my sister. It was a bit... well it was hard to swallow, I, no one expected this. The others took it harder than me, even tears ran down their cheeks. I stood there, just trying to make sense of it, it grapple with the reality of the situation. Truth is, I am not that much of an emotional person, I do show affection and grief, but I mostly keep it inside. It still didn't really sink in even when my sis was explaining what she was going to do and the dates, it was just too surreal at the moment. The gravity of the situation did become more apparent when she drove to the Hospital today to begin the first stage of her battle with this enemy.
I have heard, read and seen a lot of information about this major killer, even given somewhat some supported the fight against cancer with a small donation for my pink ribbon. I also personally know people who have fought with this disease. So I know how terrible this disease is and how it can affect the patient and the family and friends of the patient. However, the feeling is just not the same and the full impact is just not there until you know that someone so close to you has it. This is not only scary to me because it is affecting my sister, it has also unearthed a fear that I too may be at risk, If my sister has it, then it is in the genes and thus I too am at risk. I took my last prostate blood test a few months ago as a part of a random medical. I took it lightly and just did it because I wouldn't be paying for it as my health scheme covers the cost of the tests. But now I think this is something I should do every year.
I pray that my sister will be strong throughout this ordeal and will pull through just as many other cancer survivours have done in the past. The only immediate comfort we have now is that the tests confirmed that it has not spread. She has began a life changing journey, a fight against an internal enemy, a battle that will take strength, courage, support and love. May God be with her in this time of need and may she emerge from this the victor and even stronger. That is my hope, as wishing it never happened is futile, but dealing with the problem together with help from above is the only way.
My sister has already completed her chemo therapy and her final radiation treatment since I wrote this post and is well on the road to recovery. Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and a very prevalent disease in the rest of the world. It is a disease that has touched so many lives and more people are diagnoses with this disease every day. The fight against breast cancer is still ongoing and the search for a cure continues in earnest. For those who are now fighting this disease, may you be victorious in this battle and be one of those who can say they are survivours. Condolences to those who have lost loved ones to this disease. I guess I can repeat the advice that the the Medical Practitioners give to all females: do regular self breast examinations and mammograms (where applicable). I would also like to add that a proper, well balanced diet coupled with regular exercise goes long way. Hopefully a cure for this disease is in the near future that will spare many from the clutches of Breast Cancer.