|Daughter of survivor, carrier of the gene|
My mom is a fighter, warrior, and a survivor
One life lesson I have learned is that you never know what life has in store. Six years ago, my mom, who is also my hero, my best friend, and my other half received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Her long and tiring battle going through chemotherapy, radiation, and having a double mastectomy was the most difficult obstacle of our life. She never gave up, she remained hopeful and positive, while always keeping her head up. She taught me to be brave and that you can’t let things, even as big as what she dealt with, get in the way of happiness. With or without cancer, she continued to be the same person and never let the disease control how she lived her life. I saw her strength, attitude, and courage throughout here entire journey, which inspired me to be strong as well.
While I know we have no control over what happens to us, I knew that I could control how I chose to respond. I chose to face my fear of the unknown, where I, too, found out I carried the same BRCA2 gene. I turned my positive test result into a catalyst for personal growth. My mom used to share an old saying that talked of a man who cried because he had no shoes until he met a man that had no feet…By keeping this perspective and focusing on what I can control, being more grateful and dedicated to the important things in my life, and minimizing the stuff that just does not matter, I have never felt more fortunate and more alive. I’ve learned not to take life for granted, to take chances and try new things without letting fear get in the way, to never give up, focus on what’s most important, learn to let things go, and most importantly to live in the moment.
My mom is the most beautiful star that shines on earth and is the brightest light of happiness in my life. She truly is a gift to the world, and I can only hope to grow even more into at least half the person that she is. I will never stop fighting to put an end to breast cancer, and I hope to one day have been a part in finding a cure, as well as correcting genetic mutations like the BRCA2 gene that my mom and I both carry.