In her early thirties, a vibrant, healthy woman told us she had cancer. We cried, we sat on the floor holding her, promising we’d do anything we could to help.
The following few weeks, she got more information about her cancer. Stage 3 Breast cancer, BRCA and HERS positive. The only “good” news was that she was being treated at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.
She went for test after test to find she would have chemo in the next couple weeks. Doctors were hopeful that it hadn’t traveled, but still couldn’t give the best odds, as to the severity of her cancer.
During the months of chemo and radiation, my son wept, telling me, “I can’t lose her. I can’t do this alone.” I was there everyday to help with their baby, my grandson.
Cancer is no cake walk. She lost her hair, her finger and toenails, her breasts and the ability to have more children. The docs summed it up as, “you are alive.”
Cancer changes everyone, the patient, the family and all those who love them. Each cancer is different. It strikes with no rhyme or reason.
That’s what happened to our now thirteen year old Pedal Partner. When eighteen months, she had neuro-blastoma. When she was eleven, cancer came back as osteo-sarcoma. She missed an entire year of school to get her treatments at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Known as, the girl who is always smiling,” she is adored by all she meets. It was especially important to us, as she lived down the street from us. A town wide celebration of pink gathered along the small town streets as she returned home after her last treatment.
She is cancer free, although she has genetic markers that put her at risk for more cancer. She’s is much older than most thirteen year-olds. Her hair is growing back, she is in school and still has physical therapy for her legs. The Jimmy Fund (fundraising arm of Dana Farber) adopted her as a spokes person because of her composure and intelligence. She has agreed to be our Pedal Partner for another year.