June 112022

Days to Race356

My mother discovered advanced breast cancer in 1977. I was 17 years old. She was not expected to live long, and in those days doctors were all men and awkward about discussing surgery. My mother’s response was, “stop pussy footing around and take my breast – I have three teenagers to raise and get through college – I can’t be doing with this!” After a radical mastectomy, aggressive radiation and a long recovery, my mother had a recurrence when I was in college. On a year abroad at that time, and after another mastectomy and debilitating chemo, my mother trekked to Macchu Picchu with me to celebrate my 21st birthday. It happened again in the 1990s – lymph nodes out this time and a skin transplant because she had no good skin left after the radiation – they had not expected her to live to need it any more. My mother died last year of heart failure at 89. She was a warrior and an inspiration to me – always brave, and always there for me no matter what. I miss her terribly.