At least your disease has a ribbon

A couple of nights ago I was standing in the shower, one hand poised above my head ready to do my monthly breast self exam when a tiny thought came to me; “do I really want to know?” I’ve been doing these exams for a little over two years now; my doctor said to do them… even when reports came out that they weren’t necessarily effective.

During my first Race for Cure – this was back when I lived in Maryland, someone, probably the race director mentioned that everyone would know at least one person with breast cancer in their lifetime. I didn’t know anyone with breast cancer then so I found the thought troubling.

At the agency, the nurses at the chemo unit emphatically tell patients who’re through with their treatments that they hope to never see them again. It is endearing to see this as it’s ironic.

Mom & Joe chemo daycare
mom mom, joe & els

My mom is through with her chemo treatments but she still goes to the chemo unit for her Herceptin infusions, she’ll be on those for the next couple of months.

Cancer is like that thing you can never get away from; it takes years to treat, years of monitoring thereafter and a constant reminder of its pervasiveness. A day rarely goes by without report of a new development on cancer, a tv character or some notable person getting cancer. Being that close to the disease has desensitized me a little; I used to think all sorts of unimaginable things when I’d hear someone had been stricken with cancer. These days my brain automatically shifts to treatment mode and the horrors kept at bay.

Yet, cancer remains ominous because there are many varieties, no one is immune and in most cases no one can tell why or how you got cancer.

My mom is getting towards the end of her treatment; she finished five and the half weeks of radiation this Thursday. Radiation wasn’t as hard on her as chemo was and we’re grateful for that. She’ll be doing a host of tests in the next couple of weeks and then she’ll finally undergo surgery for mastectomy in June. We (and her team of doctors) are hopeful that this is the best treatment for her, she’s the most hopeful of us all – I wish I had her faith and conviction. Sometimes I get a little frustrated because it borders on denial but it’s been an adventurous ride and I’m pleased to say that cancer hasn’t become us, partly because of my mother’s attitude.

“I am not the tumour in my breast” she says emphatically “I can’t let cancer take over my whole life and I hate those pink ribbons; take them off!”

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  • Reply novisi

    Mum does have a strong spirit!!!

    my respect and prayers!

    17 May, 2009 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Elsa Brobbey

    Thanks Novisi, she does have a strong spirit. 🙂

    17 May, 2009 at 11:44 pm
  • Reply Elsa

    Thanks Novisi, she does have a strong spirit. 🙂

    18 May, 2009 at 3:44 am
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