I'm Hilary and this is my story...
When I was seven years old, my mom was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma breast cancer. My siblings were 10, 12, and 14. As a family, this was an incredibly scary time.
"I remember, at seven years old, contemplating what life would be like without Mom."
In 1998, Mom underwent a lumpectomy to remove the affected area in her breast and was expected to receive radiation treatment which would have meant being away from us for a total of five weeks. However,we were thrilled when post-operation, the surgeon said that Mom would not have to undergo radiation.
Her sickness often took her away from our family, including over the holidays. She missed many special events at school,and was not able to attend our extracurricular activities. As a young child,this was especially difficult to accept because it seemed like all the other kids had their moms by their side.
Those were some of our darkest days of our lives but I'm happy to say, today my mom is a cancer survivor. I am so grateful to have her by my side to enjoy life's important milestones, like my wedding, and the birth of her first grandson.
Although cancer free today, it is still a big part of our lives. Just last year Mom had extensive mammogram testing for more unusual lumps in her breast. The test came back inconclusive, so more testing will need to be done in the fall. This past month my grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer; she had a mastectomy and is now undergoing radiation treatment. Because cancer runs in my family, it’s extremely likely that my sister or I will one day have a fight of our own.
"For our family, the battle isn't over, but we remain hopeful that with people’s continued support of programs like the Shop4Charity Calendar Sweepstakes, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer."