Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Month of October

Every year when October rolls around I go through an internal struggle. I debate whether or not to blog about my experience with Breast Cancer. When I was 13 my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. My Mom has told me in the past that she has struggled with October meaning everything being pink for a month instead of it meaning the leaves changing color and Fall being in full swing. After she finished Chemo she had to get rid of all the things that reminded her of Chemo, for example her big, comfy blanket she had used in each Chemo visit. I struggle with October because I don't want to give one more reason for my Mom to think back about that incredibly difficult year for her and my family. But I've decided this year it's important for her to know what I think about when I see the color pink take over October.

I think about when my Dad told my sister and me the news. He had tears in his eyes with a look of extreme worry yet strong determination. He promised us that this experience would bring our family closer together. He proved to be absolutely correct. I remember that was one of the first times I remember getting a real glimpse at just how much my Dad loved my Mom. His love continued to manifest as he took her to all the doctors appointments, kept the house and family organized, remained a faithful Bishop, and even gave her daily shots as part of her treatment. He stood strong by her side teaching me how to be a strong and supportive spouse. 

I think about the many friends that rallied together to help my family out in any way they could. When my Mom had to get a mastectomy her friends gave it a positive spin by throwing her a party complete with a Boob cake. They kept the love coming by sending little notes, prayers, and thoughts our way. They helped with dinners, rides, and anything else our family needed. I learned how important it is to be a good friend and to have good friends in return.  

Most importantly I think of my Mom being a fighter. I think of my Mom being incredibly strong throughout the long, hard path. I think of how she has continued to fight for her health. I think of how she admits to her weaknesses but is brave enough to address them and carry on fighting. She taught me that when the going gets tough the tough get going. 

So I'm ok with pink taking over October. While it reminds me of the ugliness that is Breast Cancer, it mostly reminds me of the good things that came because of it. 

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