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About a year ago, in October 2010, I listened to a radio program on NPR about breast cancer. Up until then, I'd never really thought seriously about breast cancer, but I listened intently to the program. However, at 26 and with no "direct" connection to the disease, I was still, relatively, unaware.
About five months later, in March 2011, my mother told me that she had breast cancer. She was diagnosed in December 2010 and had been dealing with it privately.
Four months after that, in July 2011, I said my last goodbye to her.
Initially, she decided not to have chemotherapy or surgery. She tried naturopathology and hormonal therapy. She changed her diet. Being a deeply religious person, she prayed and fasted. The cancer spread to her bones, liver and lungs.
When she finally told me and my brothers, we told her that she must get chemotherapy immediately. When she was hospitalized a few days later, an oncologist came in to give her and our family the prognosis. They were going to try to the most aggressive round of chemotherapy drugs to help her.
Unfortunately, the treatments didn't work and my mom passed away from complications of breast cancer.
My mom was a beautiful, intelligent, kind and special person. She touched so many people. There are so many lessons I've learned and my life will never be the same.
I have never had a mammogram, but I am making my appointment. I've thought about what I would do if I ever developed cancer. I'd probably be scared. I would need support. I would think about my mother.
So, I think seriously about breast cancer now. I have a new awareness.
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