When James was just six months old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Until then, a part of me still held on to that childhood notion my parents were indestructible; that nothing bad would ever happen. This was certainly a reality check.
During a routine mammogram, a lump was detected. It was tiny, less than 100 cells, but had spread to one lymph node and was classified as “in between Stage I and Stage II.” Tests showed it was HER2+, which in the breast cancer world means fast growing and likely to return. An immediate lumpectomy was performed, and she began round after round of chemo, followed by round after round of radiation. It was legit. She bought a wig, and prepared herself for a new normal that would consist of scars, severe nausea, vomiting, hair loss, dry mouth, burned skin, zero energy…the list of side effects goes on and on.
We rallied around her, and did everything anyone could do in these circumstances. We loved and supported and listened and hugged and cried and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. And we prayed some more. My mother’s faith never wavered. I remember attending church one Sunday that winter; it was freezing outside and she was bundled up as much as possible with scarves and a wool cap, trying to preserve some warmth. We began to sing a praise song entitled, Mighty to Save written by Ben Fielding and Rueben Morgan. I watched as she sang the powerful words, and tears slipped down my own cheeks when she raised her hand in praise to the Lord, and then bent her bald head and wept a silent prayer. That memory will forever be my personal PSA poster for unyielding faith.
The Lord heard our prayers. She is now a 4 year SURVIVOR.
After reading a bit of Sadie’s story, I hope you will do two things.
One, please support breast cancer awareness. The Noreen Fraser Foundation is a wonderful place to start. Noreen is a cancer survivor living with STAGE IV breast cancer, and has become an activist for cancer research. This year, Stella and Dot has created two beautiful bracelets to help support and bring awareness to breast cancer. The Inspire and Strength bracelets are a great price, and 100% of net profit from their sales during the month of October will be donated to the NFF. You can purchase them through this link here. For every bracelet you purchase, The Art of Living Beautifully will donate $10 to NFF. Get one for you and one as a gift.
And Two, appreciate your Mom today. (and always!)