My Mom the Survivor

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I dedicated this whole month to the memory of my mom who died from breast cancer on Feb. 13, 2003. Most people who know me know that Mom was a victim of that horrible disease, but I’m sure not everyone is aware that she was also a survivor of it.

When I was twelve years old, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time. I was too young to fully grasp at that time how awful it truly was. She underwent a mastectomy and radiation and, thankfully, was declared cancer-free for eighteen years before being diagnosed with it again.

I’ll never forget the day, now over 30 years ago, when I got to miss school to stay with Mom in the hospital. It made me feel so grown up. I can remember how proud I felt to be able to be there to do little things for her that day. Out the window of her hospital room, we could see a Krystal sign a little ways away. At lunch time, I got to walk to it by myself to get something to eat. As is usually the case around a hospital, it was a busy area; and I wasn’t a particularly brave child. However, I imagined Mom watching me out her window, and I walked with my back straight and my head held high, just in case.

Back then, Mom and I weren’t as close as I wish we had been, and it was probably because I was such a Daddy’s girl. I believe that day was the turning point in our relationship, though. The older I grew, the closer we became, until she was eventually my best friend. Becoming a mother myself provided a whole new dimension for us to relate to each other. Mom was my greatest encourager, and she is the reason I have had any success as a mother.

Here’s a picture of me and Mom, taken in December of 2002, just a couple months before she passed away.

Today, the last day of this month, I am proudly wearing my pink “Support the Cure” T-shirt in honor of my hero, my Mom.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Patti Kelley on October 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Suzanne, I receive a blessing every time I read your blog….I remember your mom as if it were yesterday….she left an everlasting impression in my life.


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