Cancer. One word. Six letters. How can such a small word pack such a large punch? March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some facts about it.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. (http://colon-cancer.emedtv.com/colon-cancer/colon-cancer-statistics.html).
It's the third most common cancer in men and in women. (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/index.htm).
Of the thousands of people that get diagnosed every year, 4.4% are under 45 years old.
Nine years ago, my 41-year-old mother was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.
(There's a chance she'll kill me for posting this picture but I think she's super pretty and really cute too).
If there's something scarier for a child than facing the death of a loved parent, then I was lucky enough to not experience it. In all honesty, a lot of that time period is hazy for me because I was so young. Only 11 years old. I can't even write this without tearing up. I do know without a doubt that one of the worst things in the world is looking into the face of someone you love and seeing them hurt and knowing you can't do anything about it. Even worse if you're 11 years old and don't really understand what's going on.
So there we were. My formerly completely healthy young mother was diagnosed with a deadly disease that WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO EFFECT HER. But, if Kathy Giles is anything, she is steadfast. Looking back, I don't remember feeling neglected or sensing any fear from my mom. She has a quiet and gentle spirit that fully trusts and has faith in God's plan. She managed to continue homeschooling my little sister and me during her chemo treatments. She also still gave piano lessons.
My grandparents are two of the most stubborn people you will EVER meet. Though quiet, gentle and loving, my mother definitely inherited that stubbornness. She did not give up or quit living when she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. She fought hard and made it through.
She is my hero, my best friend, my biggest fan, my harshest critic, my steadfast supporter and my inspiration. She knows pretty much everything about me and always encourages me. She is also probably the only person who reads every single blog I write. She cultivated my love of literature, the arts, Christ, old movies, musicals, and the list could go on and on. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and go after stuff instead of sitting back and letting life happen to you. She has the will to make a way in everything. She also married a good man who is a great father who I wrote about here
Mama, (because I know you'll read this even if no one else does), you are my hero and I thank you for always encouraging me. Thank you for fighting through cancer and showing me an alternative way to handle stress. Thank you for being my best friend. i love you.
OH! And did I mention she's basically my twin from another era?