On Feb. 7th, I got a cryptic email from my Aunt:
INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
Unfortunately, I knew all too well what it all meant and my heart sunk to the floor. She was the last of four sisters to succumb to cancer. Three have had breast cancer, one died of ovarian. She was my last glimmer of hope to dodge genetic destiny.
It's funny how in a split moment, priorities change. As part of a great key note for the Ad Council Sharon Napier said, "Busy is the new lazy." That struck me because we all have our "to do" list. That simple statement made me take a deep breath and rethink my ideas about work, PTA, kid sports, friends and family. I immediately went to the calendar, figured out what I could move around to be there for my Aunt's lumpectomy. Priced flights and rental cars to Raleigh. I was ready to roll.
But... she didn't feel like she needed me. She is a strong, independent 80 year old. She was ready to make her own choices and take only the support she wanted. Not knowing if she would need it or not.
We visited in April. She is doing well but tires easily. She has chosen to forgo radiation therapy. She was still contemplating whether she was going to sign up for 5 years of estrogen-inhibiting drugs. Many tough life changing decisions. She takes them all in stride.
I realized it was finally time for me to make genetic testing a priority. Results should be back in about a month. Surprisingly, I haven't given it much thought. I've hidden any level of serious contemplation in my "busyness." For me, this strategy works. I will cross bridges when I come to them.
Tomorrow morning, Mother's Day, I will run the 13th Annual Pink Ribbon Run & Walk. Maybe then I'll think of what my test results might mean. Maybe I won't, just focusing on the mimosas and gourmet cheese in the parking lot after. Either way, I will celebrate the lives of those who have been touched by breast cancer.
Thank you in advance for supporting our heroes!