Today marks the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer awareness is a topic that is new and dear to my heart. In March 2010 my mother (one month shy of her 50th birthday) was diagnosed with breast cancer. November 2010, eight months to the day she was diagnosed, she passed away. One morning while preparing for work my mother felt an abnormal lump and pain in her breast. After going to the doctor and being told that she was fine, my mother continued to listen to her body and sought a second opinion. A few days later her stage three cancer was confirmed. My mother’s courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer taught me so many lessons. Although my mother knew her cancer was terminal well before she told me and my siblings, she reminded us to live life to the fullest and to focus on what matters. She taught my siblings and I that God is in control. I admired how she never complained about her condition, but instead used her cancer as a teaching tool. “Trust your instincts and listen to your body,” words that I will never forget hearing my mother say. I often hear people say “she lost her battle with cancer.” I disagree. My mother’s presence is felt each and every day. Her legacy continues on through her family and friends. As we start a new season and new month, please take five minutes of your day each month to do a self-exam. Those five minutes may save your life.
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