As much as I lament being a young cancer survivor, I am not the only one in my family who was young when diagnosed. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only forty. (Hi, Mom!) Her children ranged in age from 5 to 14 (that’s me). I can’t even imagine how she felt when she was diagnosed; I was too young (and was a typically self-involved teen) to realize what a diagnosis of breast cancer really meant. Later, she told me she never liked it when June came around, since that was the anniversary of her mastectomy. (My mastectomy was in June, too. Strange how things turn out, isn’t it?) I do know that she was devastated when I was diagnosed; cancer was the last thing on earth that she wanted her daughter to go through.
I recently told my neighbor that I was lucky to have a mom who had already had a mastectomy when I was diagnosed. Doesn’t that sound weird? Yet I was. Mom knew exactly what I was going through. She was very important in helping me feel that my diagnosis wasn’t the end of the world. She gave me the utmost support and yet gave me the freedom to make the decisions I needed to make.
Her cancer metastasized to her bones about four years ago, and she has been combating it with various estrogen blocking medications. Keep it up, Mom!