People have often said this but for me this wasn't true. I couldn't understand what it would be like to know someone with cancer. Would I be sad? Angry? Defeated? Optimistic? Well, now I do know someone, an amazing someone whom I love very much, and the answer is all of the above.
This woman (center in photo) is my mom. My wild, happy, goofy, and impressively optimistic mom...oh and also my biggest fan, closest confidant, and my main scource for positivity. I'm certain she holds the same position in each of my 4 siblings' lives as well. We adore our mom, who couldn't? She has the biggest smile that meets the eyes every time and the magical ability to find good in absolutely anything. In this case, she's found something positive even in her own diagnosis of stage 2 her2+ breast cancer.
"It's just something I'm meant to go through." She says.
"Something to change my life for the better....to overcome, and to add to my testimony so I can better help others get through it too."
Prior to her diagnosis, Theresa always wanted implants. Nothing out of the norm, just "nice boobs." Any woman who's nursed even 1 child, let alone 4, can relate to wanting a little oomph back, am I right?! So, she's seeing this as a way to not only change her diet and prioritize herself (she has a knack for putting everyone first, even at her own expense...including people she doesn't know or has only just met), but also as a chance to maybe get the breasts she's always wanted.
Only, it's not that simple. It turns out that breast reconstructive surgery and augmented breasts or "typical" implants are in two completely different worlds when it comes to both the operations AND the costs. So this fund is specifically for the breast reconstruction (the implants) portion of her overcoming the cancer process. That's where you come in (if you'd like to help). Even if you choose to skip that coffee today, and plant that 5$ here instead, that would be a beautiful help. It all adds up!
But first, I'd like to fill you in with the process so you have all of the info you need.
After being diagnosed first with stage 1, and now stage 2 her2+ breast cancer within the same month, my mother saw how rapidly the tumor is growing in her left breast. It is currently the size of a nickel.
"It will double in size within 3-6 months" her doctor informed us as we sat in yet another lengthy appointment last week. So she has decided to go through with a double mastectomy to have both breasts removed and the breast tissue then dissected and searched for more cancer cells to see if the cancer has spread through to other parts of her body.Next, she has the option, immediately after the mastectomy, to have a plastic surgeon come in and begin the breast reconstruction process which starts with applying a special serum that allows the skin to strengthen and callous in a way, enough to support implants after a mastectomy. Then the surgeon will install 2, essentially "glorified water balloons" that will be filled by needle throughout the next 2 months to have fluid added to the "water balloons" until the desired size is reached and the skin has healed and stretched properly. Then a second surgery will be needed to remove these water balloons and replace them with gel implants.It's incredibly costly, and it's all coming out of pocket. I don't know the cost of the full procedure with the follow up surgery but I know that just the serum alone is nearly 20k. So you may be asking yourself why would she need breasts? What justifies spending that amount of money on a part of your body that isn't needed to properly function?Well, it's a beautiful thing that we are each entitled to our own opinion and here's mine...I'd give nearly anything to keep my breasts, to not even once have to look at the flat NIPPLE-LESS place (yes,they take EVERYTHING)where the two lumps that were attractive to my husband, that once fed my children and gave them life for nearly a year each, that made me feel beautiful and identified me as a woman and then a mother, once sat. It would be like having surgery on my self-identity.It's not a sexual thing. It's not that my mother wants to flaunt herself or pretend as though nothing happened. She will be forever affected by this and it will always be a threat to her life. There's no way to avoid this awful reality of cancer, but there IS a way to see life and hope in it, to "extract the positive from the negative" as my mom, so often puts it. In my opinion, this woman deserves the world, but helping give her some beautiful breasts and femininity will do.