Staffer reflects on personal experiences during Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Maddie Jewett, Features Editor

“Your mom has breast cancer.”
Most of us have had one or two moments in our lives that truly change how we view things — this is mine.
Before we go any further, I want everyone to know that my mom won her battle and is completely cancer-free, and no amount of “thank you’s” to the Big Man upstairs could ever repay him for that.
Not only do I thank God that my mom is now cancer-free, but I thank Him for the entire experience in general.
We found out that my mom had breast cancer the winter of my freshman year.
I was speechless. It came completely out of the blue, and I never thought anything that drastic would ever happen to someone I loved so dearly.
I was wrong.
I learned a few things throughout my mom’s journey of battling cancer, and I want to share with you how I got through it and the lessons I learned along the way.
Number one: Every day is a blessing.
Yeah, yeah, I know — cliché, right?
But it couldn’t be more true.
Think about it this way: What would have happened if my mom hadn’t have had a very mild case? What if she hadn’t been as lucky as she was to get great doctors and great medicine?
We all need to love one another as much as we can every single moment, because we truly never know what life might throw our way.
Number two: With uplifting friends, supportive family and a gracious God, you can get through anything.
My friends were with me every step of the way. They were always there when I needed someone to lean on, and words cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for that. We even did a pink-out day at school on the day of her surgery. All of my friends and I wore pink that day, not only to support my mom, but also to get the word out about how many people breast cancer is affecting.
My family worked together to get through everything, especially when my mom was recovering. We helped out around the house, ran errands, did extra chores, etc. We also gave each other extra love, which never hurts.
God was there for me, and you know what? I believe that He put my mom, our family and our friends through this because He knew that we were strong enough to handle it.
“God gives his toughest battles to his strongest competitors.”
Most nights before I went to bed, I prayed to God to help my mom, my family and everyone else who has been or will be affected by cancer.
God really does answer prayers after all.
Number three: Sometimes it takes a tragedy in life to figure out who you truly are.
This is my favorite, not only because somehow through this tender time in my life, I found myself, but also because my family grew much closer from the experience.
I found that it made me, in a sense, both stronger and softer.
I’m stronger now because I know how it feels to go through a tragedy.
I’m softer now because I know how important it is to love and appreciate at all times.
I never go a day without realizing how blessed I truly am — blessed that my mom is still here with us, blessed to have such amazing friends and family, blessed to be alive and well — just so blessed. Period.
One of my friends shared this quote with me a few days before my mom had her surgery, and I will never ever forget it: “Together, we are stronger than any cancer will ever be.”
This is my story.
Take that, cancer.