I became a cancer survivor 3 years ago when my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, which is cancer of the bone marrow. At that time I had no idea of the struggle and strife that was to come in her days to follow. As my mother began treatment, she became so weak that some days she couldn't even get out of the bed or do much for herself at all. Many times I would find myself at her bedside in the hospital where she would
sleep for days and when awake would find herself completely disoriented.
She lost her appetite, the color in her skin, the feeling in her toes, at some point her hair and all of her energy. She lost her independence, which probably frustrated her the most. She lost so much. However, she never lost the most important thing. She never lost her will to live. She never lost HOPE.
I watched in amazement as I witnessed my mother fight everyday for her life. She fought relentlessly, no matter how tired she was. My mother became my hero and a huge inspiration to all of us. I am so proud of her.
What I realized is that all was not lost. What my mother found within herself was an inner strength that she didn't even know existed . What she found was unconditional love and support from those who stood by her side in her courageous battle. She found herself and found others by her side.
This past week I was filled with joy to hear that my mother's cancer count is now so low that it is virtually undetected. After a long three years, she has finished with her chemotherapy and the suffering. I am immensely grateful for her healing. She has won in her fight against cancer and she is a cancer survivor.
You see we are all cancer survivors. The spouses, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends that have fought so hard to help a loved one survive are cancer survivors also. For we too fight cancer each and every day. It is our love and support that helps these strong warriors to fight back and realize that all is not lost.
This month reminds us to celebrate and honor the lives of breast cancer survivors. Those who are here with us, those who have past and those who have stood by and supported a loved one in their fight against cancer.
"You're in the midst of war: a battle between the limits of a crowd seeking the surrender of your dreams and the power of your true vision to create and contribute. It is the fight between those who will tell you what you cannot do, and that part of you knows and has always known that we are more than our environment; and that a dream, backed by an unrelenting will to attain it, is truly a reality with an imminent arrival." Anthony Robbins