Wearing Pink & Fighting Like A Girl...For My Mom & Breast Cancer Awareness
You all know I like to keep it real...but I don’t open up too much on my blog - because there are some things that should be, well, private. The world doesn’t need to know everything about everyone. So while I’m not going to get into all of the details with you today, I’m not going to promise that you won’t shed a tear or two either.
I lost my mom to cancer five and a half years ago. I honestly can’t believe it has been that long since I’ve seen her beautiful face and heard her loving voice. But today, as I sit here typing this, I can tell you, I’m okay. Do I think about her every single day? Yes. It’s constant. And I don’t believe that will ever go away. But I don’t want it to. The mere memories of her keep me going. I tell everyone this - and anyone who knew her would agree - she was an absolute angel. She lived for my brother and me and she also would bend over backwards for any decent human she knew, including my father - long after they divorced.
Lorraine was soft-spoken but could hold her own. She was well-traveled, intelligent, and the very best listener in the world. It’s no wonder she won Guidance Counselor of the Year for her county school district just 3 years before her retirement. Those many, many elementary school students looked up to her and lived by her words...and so did I.
In addition to traveling, she loved yoga, swimming, tennis, long evening walks around the neighborhood, and reading a really good mystery novel. She ate super healthy too (though I must mention, her last meal was a specifically requested and much-deserved Five Guys cheeseburger and Steak-n-Shake milkshake). She also had incredible faith - even when times were extremely rough.
It doesn’t make sense that my mom got sick - three times, in fact. She did everything right in life. But, my brother and I are so blessed that she was such a warrior - even at 5’2,” she was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She beat the disease not once, but twice in 20 years. And for that, I’m forever grateful. I got to have her until I was 27 years old. And to say she taught me a lot of wisdom in those years is an absolute understatement.
I hate this disease. I hate it so much. And while my mom beat it twice, most women aren’t so fortunate.
But there are things you can do to prevent it and be proactive about it. For me, it’s eating healthy and exercising often. It’s loving life and soaking up every moment like it’s my last. And it was also my decision to get the BRAC analysis gene testing done a few years ago. Yes, I was nervous as all hell but my results came back negative. I do not have the breast cancer gene, which means my chances of getting it are just as likely as the next girl whose mom did not have the disease.
I urge any of you who have breast or colon cancer in your family to undergo the BRAC analysis testing. Even if the results come back positive, you’ll know to be especially aware of your body and regular check-ups.
To leave this on a light-hearted note, I got the tattoo (which desperately needs to be touched up) when I was in college and my mom was cancer-free. She was not a fan of it...and pretty much shook her head at me when I told her it was dedicated to her. Gosh, she put up with so many of my shenanigans. I don’t think anyone in the world will be able to deal with me quite like she did.