About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The "C" Word




April 1-7 is the 5th annual National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week


If someone had told me two years ago that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years of age, I would have told them they had the wrong girl. No way. Breast cancer is an "older woman's" disease, right? There was no way breast cancer would affect my life anytime in the near future.Well, that was then. It has been 15 months, 49 weeks, 400 days, 8,160 hours, and 529,000 minutes since I stood up, threw my hands over my mouth and recieved the not so coveted crown, and sash of the " totally unaware breast cancer so -not-want-to-be chic" tittle!

After reading up, I found that in the U.S. on average a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 13 minutes? Every thirteen minutes? That is just unbelievable! Breast Cancer affects over 200,000 and kills over 41,000 women a year. Right now, there are more than 240,000 women under the age of 40 in the U.S. living with breast cancer. More than 14,000 young women were diagnosed, myself being one of them, with breast cancer last year and 1100 died from it.

No one should have to die from cancer. Cancer calls on both the young and the old alike. Cancer plays hard ball and doesn't care whom it ravages. It does not matter what your age is, or your place in life, cancer is devastating. Cancer takes no prisoners and does not discriminate.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in my 30's has been mind blowing and life altering. Just when you are ready for life to take off, when you are still planning your future, setting your dreams into motion, raising your children, and growing that nest egg, it all disappears. Pouf! Suddenly you are thrown into an alternate universe. You are forced to start thinking about who will take care of your children, look after your husband, hold your parents hands and well, start making arrangements for own your death. It is a sudden and sobering reality check when you have been in the fast lane for so long.

Suddnely you are faced with early menopause at a time when you still have dreams of more children. This is a time in your life when you should be at your sexual peak, not stripped of your sensual being. And as if that isn't enough to slam the brakes on your young life, now you have to be frightened, no terrified, by the idea of potentially not seeing your own small children reach adulthood. With the loss of your hair you see your whole identity taken brutally away from you at a time when it seems to matter most. Let's face it most people are caught up in their appearance. We live in a very shallow, plastic world and living in that world with cancer, especially as a woman, your whole sense of femininity, what made you attractive, is stolen from you.


Your world is now filled and consumed by medical treatments, almost daily doctor appointments, all while you are trying to keep up with your incredibly fast paced life as a wife and mother. You are facing medical treatments that are now eating all the way through your children's college fund and what little savings you have left, along with emotional and sexual issues you never dreamed of. You are now more than drained long before 5 o'clock comes around and find that you just can't keep up with the rest of the happy hour crowd no matter how hard you try.


While you are doing your best to keep up and deal with the your old life you find that while some are trying to drag you out of your isolation, others are working over time to keep you there threatened by "it." At times you almost feel as if they are already digging your grave for you! It can be really hard to deal with cancer at this time in your life. No time is a good time, but, especailly when you see the rest of your friends, and thier families moving forward as you are just "idling" you can find yourself lost and unsure of how to ask for help. Afraid if you do reach out, your already sore hand will get slapped for trying.


Yes, we are too young to hear it, too young too believe it and way too young to want to deal with it. Reality check! We are hearing it, we are living with it and we are fighting it. We are living in spite of this deadly foe. No one, young or old, can really ignore "it." We can't hide from "it" and we can't forget about the monster under the bed.

The truth is this: no one is ever really ready for the "C" word. There is no good time, no scheduled appointment or perfect plan for cancer. It doesn't matter if you have lived or are just starting to live, cancer in any form at any age is harsh mentally, crushing emotionally, painfully physically and rivetingly real. It just doesn't go away and you can't just move on and forget it. It is in your face, consuming your body and devouring your precious time 24/7. But, we CAN and we WILL fight "it" by talking about "it." Calling "it" by name. We can all fight breast cancer by talking about it, by educating ourselves and by spreading the word about how deadly breast cancer is. Ignoring the "C" word only enables the disease to dig deeper. It's time to fight this beast with all we have. Let's eradicate BREAST CANCER so our daughters, ourgranddaughters and their daughters can live free from this threat! I long to find a cure with all my heart and maybe in their lifetime our children can live without the "C" word. I don't know about you, but pink is so not my color! I am really ready to live free without any ribbons. I am ready to stand, live or die, for a cure!


Christina

3 comments:

  1. Your quote again...

    "Let's eradicate BREAST CANCER so our daughters, our granddaughters and their daughters can live free from this threat! I long to find a cure with all my heart and maybe in their lifetime ."

    Here!   Here!  And it will be possible one day.  Nothing can stand in the way of determined women!  I'm with you!

    Jeanie

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  2. i can almost understand what you are saying.  my mom had breast cancer and then after 10 years she had it come back again.  every woman on my moms side has had one form of cancer and not all have survived it.   i know how scary it was for my mom and for me.  we were worried about different things for different reasons.  i now have come to the reality that one day it will find me or one of my children and the fear of it happening bothers me  more than i knew it would.  i always accepted it would come to me but not being able to protect my children is a horrible thing.
    i do pray for you and will keep you in my prayers every day
    i hope you over come this with no relaps'
    have a wonderful weekend
    hugs
    noelle

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  3. I am standing behind you 100%....
    There has to be a CURE!!!!
    Always in my prayers
    Love and Hugs,
    Terri

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