I'm sure you guys all know by now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this post is not meant to lecture you on the details of breast cancer or to pressure you to donate to finding a cure if you don't want to - it's simply meant to raise awareness by sharing my story.
About four years ago, I remember sitting in my apartment studying when I received a call from my mom. My mom and I talk every few days, and every phone call starts off with the usual, "How was your day?", "What did you do today?", "Did you eat lunch yet?" (so basically, the typical mom-checking-up-on-daughter-who's-away-at-college questions) - and this phone call was no different.
Then, I remember her pausing for a short while before asking me, "Are you going anywhere right now?" to which I answered "No....why?" She had just found out she had breast cancer.
I remember not thinking anything for a few moments immediately after she broke the news to me. My mom is a very emotional person, and I think the fact that she sounded so calm and collected on the phone confused me. I broke down in tears while incoherently mumbling questions like, "When?" (When did you find out?), "How?" (How did you find out?), "Do you have to get chemo?", and "What happens now?" As soon as I got off the phone with her, I realized that I couldn't recall any of the answers she gave me to any of my questions because all I could think about was that my mom had cancer. Considering all of the things my mom had gone through and was going through at that point in her life, I couldn't get over how unfair it was that she had to now deal with cancer too.
When I'm going through tough times, I always try to remind myself that what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger, and to remember to be grateful for what I have (rather than focus on what I don't have) because things could always be worse. I force myself to deal with adversity because I know that I can. But this wasn't happening to me - it was happening to my mom, and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt so helpless it was almost unbearable. My poor mom had given up so much for me and worked her ass off for everything our family had, and all I knew was that my mom certainly did not deserve this. No one does.
My mom had a mastectomy to remove the malignant tumor a few weeks after her diagnosis. She was extremely fortunate in that she didn't have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, and she has been in remission since 2007. Since her battle with cancer, three of my aunts (two on my mom's side and one on my dad's side) were also diagnosed with breast cancer. They are also now survivors.
As unfortunate and terrifying as it is to have so many women in my immediate family be affected by breast cancer, I consider myself and my family extremely lucky because we're all survivors. But, until a cure (not just treatment) is found, no one's battle with this disease can truly be won.
As a tribute to all who have been affected by breast cancer, I'm posting a FOTD and OOTD using the only color that can truly be appropriate for this occasion - PINK!
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in #53
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette
Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in 002 Beige
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Sand
MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush
Benefit Bella Bamba
MUFE Aqua Cream in #16
17 All About Nude Summer Palette (pink and brown eyeshadows)
MAC Pigment in Melon
MAC e/s in Phloof!
MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy
Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara
NYX l/s in Fig
Top: Old Navy
Hot Pink Cords: Gap
Leopard Flats: Banana Republic
Necklace: Designs by FaraM
I hope my post wasn't too sad for any of you, because it's really not meant to be a sob or pity story for me or my family. Breast cancer has affected me in more ways than one, and I just want you to know that if it has affected you as well, you are not alone. Of course it was extremely difficult for my family at the time, but what matters to me is that my mom is in great health now...what still kills me, though, is knowing that so many people continue to suffer, and many will lose their fight with this disease. If my story gives you even an ounce of hope or makes you feel curious enough to simply click on the link below to read more about finding a cure for breast cancer, then I'm happy. Thanks for reading :)
To learn more about breast cancer, the research, how to donate, find support or share your story, go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.