Tuesday, April 8, 2014

No Match For Cancer

I watched Frozen last Sunday, and... Oh, while I do think that I am the last person in the world who hasn't seen it, I don't want to take any chances and reveal the ending to those who may have not seen it. If so, skip the next paragraph.

Yes, it was oh so cute and typical Disney in its perfection. And I was overwhelmed with feelings of love, happiness, and pride - I felt so lucky that I have a sister and can relate to that amazing feeling of love towards a sister. An act of love towards a sister totally beats a love's first kiss. And if you don't have a sister, then you won't understand. Sorry!

Unfortunately, though, this post is not about a cute story, but about a real one ~ here it goes:

My sister and I are three years apart and, even though we shared a small room as kids, we fought like crazy... have you seen The Kardashians?... I mean, we, Armenians, are very passionate people...

But then, one day, we had a big fight (I have absolutely no recollection what that fight was about), and our mom, who was fed up with our behavior, said that she will give us both away to people who live at two opposite ends of our city, so that we won't have to ever EVER see each other again.

After a moment of silence, we both started sobbing loudly because we couldn't imagine not seeing each other! Not kidding! Since then, we became the best friends. No life challenges could threaten us with separation... except that thing called cancer...

No!!! Who would have thought?! My sister was only 44! How could it happen to her? Where did it come from?

Luckily, after turning 40, my sister has diligently been doing her mammograms, and cancer has been spotted at the early stage. And we all know that the early diagnosis of breast cancer, or any cancer, can spell the difference between life and death.

We hear all the time that such and such got cancer. And we never NEVER think that it can happen to us. But why do we think we are immune to it? We are not! It can happen to me and it can happen to you! Sorry, that's the truth. It ain't a Disney story.

So I thought to ask my sister a few questions about how she dealt with the breast cancer diagnosis, and we put it on video. Hopefully, this helps.

My sister has always amazed me - she left our homeland by herself and came to America, she became a wonderful mother, she became a great physician, she became a compassionate person... But what amazed me the most was how she fought cancer with all her might, how gracefully she rose above the terror of the diagnosis, and how dedicated she was to survive, so I could be lucky and happy to have a sister.
I know that in this crazy life, we forget about caring for ourselves. But we should not. We should not let cancer win. So pick up your phone (I'm sure it's somewhere within your hands' reach), and make a mammogram appointment. And if your are not 40 yet and don't have cancer (any cancer) in your family history, then write in your calendar, reminding yourself to make the call the day you turn 40.

Please share your stories ~ the chances are that cancer touched your life whether directly or indirectly~ more stories we hear, more women will choose to make their first mammogram appointment, more lives will be saved.

With lots of love,
Zuma A.

Related posts: The Mammogram Race for Cure
For information about Breast Cancer, visit Susan G. Komen and Cancer Shmancer
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