Our last breast cancer story taught us about how strong women like Marcia can be battling breast cancer. However, Marcia’s story taught
us that her family was also going through emotional times. Therefore,
the designers at Bank of Memories & Flowers want to emphasize the effect breast cancer has on the families as well. This is designer Lauren’s story....
I was a freshman in college living in Minnesota when I found out my
mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was already having a difficult time adjusting to college classes, new friends, dormitories
and of course a whole new lifestyle. One night I had received a call from a friend informing me that one of my life long mentors had passed away. It was then that I called my mom to find out the details if I would be able to attend his funeral (keep in mind I was in tears before my mom even answered the phone). Right away my mom asked what was wrong and I asked about the details of the passing of my mentor. After I hung up the phone, I went next door to my newly made friends and cried on their shoulders. Being far away with all the new stresses enhanced the sadness I had. After I finished the tears, I began to focus on the huge Philosophy test I had the next day. And wouldn’t you know, about 30 minutes later my mom called and asked me to put her on speaker phone so my sister could hear what she was about to say (yes, my twin sister and I were roommates at college).
We then heard the words that no one wants to hear from their mother, “Ladies, I have breast cancer”. She had told us that she had known for a couple of days but wanted to learn all of the details before she told us. When we had called crying just 30 minutes before, she thought we had heard from another person. It might sound crazy she hadn’t told us until then, but she knew we were still adjusting to a new lifestyle, and of course wanted to protect us. After we heard all of
the details of the surgery, radiation and other necessary measures, I hung up the phone with Philosophy far from my mind and knocked on my neighbors door once again.
Even though I was absent from most of everything that my mom had gone through, my college track coach allowed me to travel home during spring break to be with my mom. Many people forget about the stress that the family goes through. Of course, my family was lucky we had loved ones bring dinners over to the house and I received many calls in Minnesota making sure I was doing okay through it all.
It is important to remember that spouses, sons, daughters and other family members are faced with some of the same emotional stresses the patient is going through. If you are a family member watching someone go through something like breast cancer, make sure you express your feelings. Keep a journal, or confide in friends (even the girls living next door to you in a dorm). I can say my neighbors that helped me through my mom’s cancer are now my best friends today (even living six hours apart).
Buy a ‘Petals for Hope’ arrangement to help people like my family, my mom, Marcia and everyone else fighting for their loved ones.
Pictured: Lauren (Left), Ann (Center), Alison (Right)