We’re back for another Pass the Mic session. I thought I’d keep the good times rolling and let another one of my gal pals talk about something near and dear to her: Breast Cancer.
Courtney is the definition of a modern Mona Lisa if you ask me. She’s a wife, a mom, a daughter, an entrepreneur, a fashionista, a humanitarian, and a survivor. I often have to remind her to sit down somewhere because she’s always on the go. Lucky for us she took a few moments out of her day to share her story.
Hey Ya’ll! October is HERE. You know what that means: No not Halloween. It’s time to save the tatas. It’s the one time of year where everyone is “thinking pink”. Pink literally takes over. NFL players get the freedom to be original and support without fines. Everyone is walking and donating and having these necessary discussions.Then poof Nov 1 is here and we switch focus to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For some of us breast cancer is not boxed into a simple month. The fight doesn’t stop after 31 days. Pink is an everyday lifestyle.
A little Background
Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank the LORD it was caught early and she just needed to have a small extraction procedure. Strangely enough my god-mother was diagnosed around the same time. Her prognosis wasn’t so fortunate. She had to have both breasts removed.
Looking back it was a blessing and a curse that they could go through it together. They had their surgeries a week apart and were there to support each other. I’ll never forget my mother requesting to leave her hospital bed to roll down to see her BFF before she went into surgery.
We knew life for both ladies would change and all we could do was be there for the laughs, to support and to rotate being chemo drivers. I’m an only child so it was a pretty rough time for me just processing and coping with it all. I consider myself blessed to have such a big support system of family and friends.
Dealing with sick family members can be mentally and emotionally draining. I learned a lot of lessons during this time such as the importance of taking a quick breath and accepting the fact that I alone can’t do EVERYTHING.
As time progressed and health improved, things were looking up for us. We too allowed our Pink to start fading. However, we were quickly reminded that the fight is never over. The following year I found myself in a Wells Fargo crying in the lobby after receiving a call that my grandmother’s breast cancer came back (Did I forget to mention my grandmother also had breast cancer?) and had to have a fast mastectomy in a week.
I went back to my office a bit discouraged and defeated. Mentally I wasn’t present. I emailed my boss that I would be out next week because my grandmother was having a “vasectomy” (a much needed laugh) and went home to join the fight.
Life for all the women I loved was changing so vastly and so quickly. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. Eventually, when I had a moment to exhale, I realized I had to deal with my own breasts and start thinking about the breasts of my little girl, Bitsy.
The Importance of Testing
My mother went to the doctor to have the genetic testing done. The negative results have provided me with a much-needed peace of mind. Even though science has said it’s a slim chance of me having an similar fate in the future, the thoughts linger in the back of my mind. All I can do is remain proactive, keep getting tested, and live the best life that I can.
I can not stress the importance of being proactive with your health as a woman. Go to the doctor for your annual check-ups. Do your own personal checks at home. It makes a difference.
This October I challenge everyone to visit an underserved community clinic and find out what the challenges are and how people can donate to help. Giving to local clinics and organizations is the fastest way to put resources and knowledge in the community, We can’t wait for others (politicians, major corporations) to save us. We have to be the change we want to see for us and for our daughters.
When I was in college I started donating to different charities. My motto was (and still is) “Give to every cause, because you never know when that cause will become your fight”. I’ve never been more proud to wear so much Pink in my life.