July 12, 2013

Have you made your appointment?

This post is for all the women out there reading this, knowing the topic I'm about to address, not thinking about a.k.a ignoring it, for those women who will be reminded daily that life is precious and glorious, for those who have lost someone, for those who are about to lose someone, for those who have lost the battle and for everyone else around these women who are struggling, living, breathing, laughing, crying, worrying, hating, and simply thinking about it. I'm talking about cancer. More importantly breast cancer.

When I was little I never thought about this topic. I was a little girl living life and enjoying little things like blossoms or bubbles in the air. My grandma's neighbor was a friendly and such a great person I saw and visited often. I also dog-sat her dogs. I loved her dogs. Then that friendly lady got sick, had to go to the hospital quite often and ended up in bed in her apartment. Alone. I visited. I was barely 8 I think. She looked fragile but strong. And one day, she left the world and said her good-bye's. She had cancer. That word was new to me, but I understood that cancer meant something bad. Something that was beyond my imagination. I was 8 and soon enough thought of those bubbles and blossoms again. Life continued.

When I was 13 I met one of my dearest friends. We were similar and yet very different. She had a brother and parents. I only had my mom. One day she told me that she couldn't play with me because she needed to stay home and then visit her mom in the hospital. I asked why and she said her mom had breast cancer. There it was again. That word. Just this time it was more specific. A few weeks later I asked her how her mom was and she said that she felt much better and was ready to come home. A year had passed. In the meantime I met my friend's mom. She was such a fun person. She was a role model. Then when I was 15 I walked home with my friend. We both had our school books under our arms. It was a beautiful day in October that allowed us to wear short sleeves. My friend seemed quieter but cheerful. She then mentioned that her mom wasn't doing well at the moment. I knew why.

The year I turned 16 I was invited to my friend's confirmation process of her church. It was an honor for me to get invited to a church I didn't even belong to. So I went. Her whole family was there. We had a blast, and took photos. It was a gorgeous early spring day. Just beautiful. What we didn't know then was that the camera we took was broken and those non-digital photos didn't turn out at all. Just a few were okay. We were sad. Silly old cameras we had back then. What we also didn't know was that this spring was the last spring my friend's mom would experience. She died within a year. My friend was just barely 16 when she lost her mom to breast cancer. My life stood still for a moment.

This is a topic that some of us take too lightly. This is a topic some of us just ignore. Though I remind my friend every single year that she must go see her doctor and get herself checked. She may be fine, but she may not be entirely. You never know. You will simply never ever know. But a check and a tiny bill later is nothing compared to losing a life or a breast, or even two.

Today I learned that yet another lovely, strong and brave woman I know is struggling. Not for the first time, and definitely not for the last time either but she is struggling. It reminded me that life is precious. And it doesn't even have to be because I am a woman, or because I knew someone that lost her battle, or because I saw my friend and her brother growing up without a motherly hand next to them, or because I know bloggers who have dealt with this topic. It is because it is part of who we are. Female or Male (yes, guys get their cancer too...they are even worse at checking their bodies than girls are!!). It is life. It is us. And, it is important to remember it all.

I am not a huge fan of Mother's Day, or Valentine's Day and all those special days and months we should remember and walk for or write about or what not. Because Mother's Day should be every day, Valentine's Day should be every day, and breast cancer awareness month should be every single day. Same goes for HIV/AIDS, MS, the blind, the deaf, child abuse, verbal abuse, and anything and everything else we fight for, walk for, write about, think about, write cards for, buy flowers for, and go out for lunches or dinners. 

With this topic today I want to address every one of you out there. Whether or not this hits home for you, do not ignore this topic. Do not think it won't happen to you. Do not think it's nothing. Because it is something. It is something big.

Today, I wanted to write this because once again I was reminded that life is precious.
Maybe this topic hit me when I witnessed an accident today, or when my Godmother talked about her radiation and operations, and what not. Maybe it was because we talked about that lovely, strong and brave person I mentioned above who lost her toe and breast and all that jazz. She hasn't lost the battle, and she hasn't lost hope and strength. Not yet. Not this year. Not ever. Maybe it's because all this today got finally in my head and finally told me to tell you. Maybe it's a combination of every single thing that happened this past week, maybe it's the weather, maybe it's my being at my mom's and my knowing I will leave Europe soon to be back in California. Maybe it's nothing at all. It was just time to tell you that little story, with my writing skills my professor loved so much. Or maybe it was just time to write it all out.

And since this is my Crazy Little World I thought I'd address this now. And not tomorrow.

I also just texted my friend, making sure she didn't forget to make an appointment.

Have you made yours?

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Mrs. Pancakes said...

It really is the simple things that can save our lives!! I probably need to schedule my annual physical!

Sam M said...

My aunt has had breast cancer, and a few years ago my best friend growing up's sister died from it and she was only in her early thirties. I need to be better about my self checks, but I am so glad my OBYN does checks every year when I go in.

Shelley said...

My aunt passed away three years ago from breast cancer. My MIL survived it.


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