Fifteen days! That’s all the time I had with my beloved sister Cindy. Fifteen days... from the time she was diagnosed with breast cancer until the time I lost her. It wasn’t enough time. And now I've lost my sister and I have so many questions. Which job was more important...which bill came first...why didn’t she listen...what could I have done differently? We are each responsible for our own health, yet those choices do affect the ones we love. Is YOUR mammogram up to date? It may be more important than you think—maybe not to you in the hectic frenzy of every day details, but it is to someone who loves you.
My sister Cindy was 57 years old and was at work when her back pain became so severe that she left work to go to an ER Care Center. The x-rays showed a malignant tumor. A CAT scan and biopsy revealed the culprit to be metastatic breast cancer. That was Oct. 3, 2017. Before the end of the day Cindy was paralyzed, unable to feel or move her legs, and we were both scared. She said she did it to herself, that she was too busy to get a mammogram. I told her not to dwell on the past but rather for us to look forward to the future and do what we needed to kick this cancer in the butt! Cindy had emergency surgery on her spine and she was beginning to get back some sensation in her legs. We both had a glimmer of hope that the breast cancer was treatable, then literally overnight the breast cancer ravaged her entire body. In a blink I went from making sweet memories with my sister to making end-of-life decisions. Cindy never left the hospital and she passed away Oct. 18, 2017.
A couple weeks later I was scheduled to walk in the 2017 Komen 3-Day 60 mile walk for breast cancer. I had lots of reasons why I could have quit. I had stress fractures in my foot and wore a boot for several weeks that sidelined my training. A co-worker and friend Donita, was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. Donita was a rock and inspiration when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 so that news took the wind out of my sails. But I remembered the resolve that Cindy and I made to look forward. She is no longer with us, so now my mission is to speak for both of us. I don’t want to miss a single chance to ask “Have you had your mammogram this year?” I have no intention of quitting.
I have raised over $8,000 since 2015.This year I want to raise more, do more, reach more, accomplish more. That’s why I am setting my 2018 goal to raise $10,000! Please help me make a difference. Let’s reduce the mortality rate and stop breast cancer in its tracks.