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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In 2012, over 226,000 Americans are expected to be diagonsed with a new case of breast cancer and of that over 2,100 will be men. Also, in 2012 over 39,000 Americans deaths are expected from breast cancer (statistics from Susan G.Komen for the cure). Breast cancer is a very personal in my life.

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My Mom past away from breast cancer when I was 22 years old. I remember shortly after graduating high school and getting ready to attend the University Of Southern Maine, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was in the early 1980’s and my Mom went through a double mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments. She fought bravely and I remember driving her to her doctors appointments and trying so hard to stay positive. I remember the hospital bed we got put into the middle of our living room and the wonderful home health aids who would come to the house to help with bathing her and giving her the insulin shots she needed.

Fast foward to March of 1988 when her battle was coming to and end. In an ironic twist of fate my sister and her husband had learned that she had become pregnant with their first child. My mom at that time was mostly unconscious and I always wondered if she knew of the news. She past away on March 20,1988.

My sister also has died from breast cancer. My sister had battled cancer through many years of her adult life. Diagnosis, treatment, remission it was a roller coaster of emotions. Then the day I got the call from my sister Mary about the cancer being terminal. It was dart league night and I was with my team at the Lisbon Left-Hand Club and my sister was calling me at 8pm on a Monday night. I knew this wasn’t going to be good news. She told me that the cancer had come back and that it wasn’t cureable. She had already been through so much and she was not sure if she wanted to fight it. I told her that I loved her and that whatever she chose to do I would support. I cried an awful  lot that night and was thankful to had been around friends when I got that call.

I immediately was thinking of my neice  who was graduating that summer.She was right around the age I was when my Mother was going through the same thing. My sister decided to take treatment to extend the length and quality of her life. I had so many questions but I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it. My sister lived long enough to see my niece graduate from high school and college before she past away on July 20,2010.

If you and your family are going through this battle with breast cancer, I invite you to watch the NBC show, Parenthood, there is a current storyline about breast cancer that is being done very realistically and in fact, watching the show gave me the idea to do this story.


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