Last year when I heard about the Komen 5k, really I was just looking for a girls getaway with friends. Sure, I also wanted to support a cause, but I didn't really know anyone closely who was fighting breast cancer. I'm relatively young and healthy, but I am a woman, so i figured it might just be a matter of time. I would plan a girls weekend (eating and shopping) with a little exercise and good cause in mind- fighting breast cancer. It's something to worry about for the future.
I signed up with 4 of my close friends and starting training. The week before the race I heard some disturbing news -Kumar's former intern at New hope, a friend from his academy days in Ohio, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28. I barely knew her but it broke my heart. Here is an excerpt from a blog she wrote while fighting this horrible disease:
This post is dedicated to every woman who is fighting, has fought, or will have to fight breast cancer. “Never, never, never give up.” ~Winston Churchill
“Actually, it is a malignancy.” These were the five words that instantly changed my life forever. These were the words of my surgeon who was “pretty sure” two days earlier that the lump I found in my chest a few months before was just a cyst or dense breast tissue. Nothing to be too concerned about. “Of course, there is always the possibility of cancer,” he told me, “but not a large one.” I clung tight to these words and went in for my biopsy ready to just get it over with and head back to New York where I was living and loving my cancer-free life. Two days later I was told I have invasive ductal carcinoma. I have cancer.
I wrote these words nine months ago, just days before heading in for my double mastectomy where I would wake up to be informed that the cancer had spread and was stage three. I was 28 years old. Today I will wake up and head to the hospital for treatment for the very. last. time. Sadly, the hospital has become more of a home to me over the last year. I know a majority of the workers there, many of them read my blog and pray for me daily. They are my family. They saved my life.
I prayed for Abby and followed her blog. This fall, Abby got the good news that she was (and is) cancer free. Yay! But since last year I've had to pray for numerous other friends who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Turns out that being being young and healthy isn't enough protection from the realities of disease. This year I didn't get to run the Komen 5k but i wear pink this week to show all of the fighters and survivors of breast cancer that i love, support and pray for them regularly.
Abby Ramirez wrote about her journey with breast cancer at her blog Upper Trunk. She recently moved to the Baltimore Washington area and we hope she'll soon be a visitor at New hope. Her story "Surviving Breast Cancer as a Young Adult" was also published in Washingtonian magazine, October 19, 2012