Today, sadly, I will be talking about one of the bad changes. I was prompted to do so by Sarah’s very honest and candid post today over at Venus Trapped in Mars.
This is my sister.
In April of this year my 38 year old sister found a lump. A little knot under the skin. Shortly after that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since, she has a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She has undergone hormone treatments and chemotherapy.
I turned 30 in March. I had always had this strange feeling about turning thirty. Like that if I made it 30, life as I knew it would be altered. I had always assumed that it was my life that would be directly altered. Not that someone I love's life would be altered and that I would have to stand by, helpless, and watch the changes happen to her.
Chemo has made her hair thin tremendously. Her beautiful, thick auburn hair. She is too tired and sick to play with her five year old twin sons the way she once did. It has been hard for her to keep a job since she is very ill for days at a time. For weeks it was hard for her to cook or do housework due to pain from the surgery. It took a long time before she could even wash her own hair.
Breast cancer is a real concern in our family. It took my grandmother’s life after a long battle and my 28 year old cousin recently beat stage four breast cancer. 28!!!!!!!! Breast cancer (as well as other cancers of course) does so much more than take away your health. It can take away your dignity. Your self-confidence. Your feeling of being feminine. Your money. Your time. Your relationsips. Your independence. Your life.
But she is fighter. She is doing better and better. She can still laugh and find joy in things. Especially these dudes.
And her beautiful daughter.
One thing that has surprised me the most about cancer is how people react. People she barely knows have rallied to help her. The outpouring of love is heartwarming to say the least. Family members you wouldn't suspect to do so try to help and support her. And sadly we have been made aware of the utter lack of compassion, empathy and concern that some people close to you possess. I have always heard that sickness really shows who is there for you and who is not and what kind of character people have. It is true.
Sister now has to have a hysterectomy in a few weeks. Once again I will try to be there for her without really being able to do anything. But we are a team and she knows she has us to help her fight on those days when she doesn't have the energy to fight.
The purpose of this post is not to make you sad or feel sorry for my sister or myself, it is to raise awareness. Check yourselves!!! We always called my sister a hypochondriac because she was always checking herself and having doctors appointments out the wazoo to check things out. But that probably saved her life.
Know your health. Be responsible for your health. Get informed. Inform you daughters!!!! As well as sisters, mothers, grandmothers, nieces, cousins and even the men in your life. They need to check too.
All cancer sucks. Breast cancer gets the most attention due to brilliant marketing. But also, breast cancer is one of the few cancers that can be easy to detect on your own and early on. Raising awareness for this type of cancer is extremely important for that reason.
So come on y’all. Feel your boobies. And read Sarah’s post. She talks about the importance of self-examining at an early age.Save the boobies, (or as my nephews call them, the betties)
Love you sissy.