Thursday, May 19, 2011

We're at War

Hi Ya'll,

I want to share with you an email I sent to Team Tiara last night -- and then follow it up with something new. I'll tweak it all a bit as I go along to provide the latest information, but you'll get my drift.

In short, we're at War.

Last night's Email:

My precious Tiara Friends,

While I began doing the 3-Day because of my Mom's fight with Breast Cancer, I soon realized my passion would be helping young women realize this isn't their Grandmother's disease. That this is a disease without boundaries -- one that cares nothing about your age or economic status or where you live or even what gender you are.

Today my heart is heavy with three stories that need your prayers. In the interest of privacy, I'm not going to share names with you. God knows the names of these three brave women.

** The first is 38 years old. She has three kids. Last week she went in for her annual exam and the doctor found four large lumps in her breast. On Friday, she had three biopsied with one needle aspiration biopsy (NAB). Yesterday the tests came back that the lumps were malignant.

Today a full-body PET scan revealed that she has Stage IV cancer, and it's spread to several major organs. It's in her kidneys, liver, sternum, right arm and both thighs. All three markers are positive, which is a great sign -- and this family is claiming Psalm 118:17 as their faith verse.

** The second is 40 years old. (And yes, that's still young!!!) She has struggled with a cyst for several months and returned to her surgeon this week for a follow-up. Her biopsy is scheduled for June 3.

** The third message came to me tonight, simply labeled "My Sister." I've taken the names out / changed them to protect their privacy. But I thought this email was too beautiful to keep from sharing.

"I just thought I would let you know that I originally signed up for the walk at (Friend's Name) request. My mom had done it last year, and I saw what fun she had and thought it would be a great challenge. I really didn't have a connection to the cause...

Last Monday, May 9, my sister, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has class/grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, but she has not been given a Stage at this point. Last week was filled with blood tests and meetings with doctors. This Monday, she had an MRI to size the tumor - which is small because they caught it early. She has elected to have a double mastectomy on June 6, after which we will know whether she will need to do chemo or radiation. Next week she will see her oncologist.

You now know most of the medical stuff that I know. :-)

I am so very thankful that I have this group of amazing people to support my sister and my family as we go through this. My sister is a beautiful, 33-year old wife and mother to my 9-year old nephew. This has definitely kicked up my 3-Day challenge a notch or two. :-)

We are in very good spirits. I think that a huge part of healing comes from a positive attitude and a positive mind. We are in a good place, and completely foced on her health and wellness. We are focused on living, laughing and loving. I know that in a year - maybe less - this will be a bump in the road.

I just wanted you to know.

Thanks!"


Friends, this is why we walk. And these stories -- all three of them -- illustrate the much-needed message that breast cancer is very much a young woman's disease, too. It's a disease that steals Mommies and daughters and sisters and friends. Every dollar we raise, each step we take.... It's a step to finding a CURE.

Thank you for walking. Now, go check your boobies and write your fundraising letters. We're at war.

Love you,
d.

Now, In my Inbox this Morning:

So.... my dear friend. We now have another thing in common. My mother was told yesterday that she has a malignancy in her breast. Because of her religiousness in having mammos and sonos done, it was caught very early and is quite small. We meet with the doctor on Wednesday to discuss specifics, including treatment options. Her doctor mentioned a lumpectomy, checking lymph nodes and possible radiation. We need prayers. And I would appreciate it if you could send me some top websites and resources. I've always been a reader and I want to devour information to be prepared for Wednesday and beyond. And I'm going to call to schedule my mammo right now!

******************************

Friends, we're at War. Really. We are. And because we realize the cost of this battle against breast cancer, we have got to attack -- just as you do in any other war.

How can you help?

Go to www.the3day.org/goto/teamtiararocks.

Choose one of two options:
1. Donate. Just choose a name and choose what you can afford to donate. Your donation is tax-deductible and it WILL save lives. Any amount, no matter how large or small, will help.

2. Register to walk. Just click on "Join Team." We'll help you with the rest. But just like our girls in a softball game, if you don't swing your bat, you can't get a hit. We need a homerun here. Out of the park. But we can't do it if you don't take that first step and register.

I've spent my morning packaging bracelets and other means of support to mail to nine survivors in six states. This disease is rampant. The youngest of these women is in her 20's. The oldest is a Grandma.

Help us fight this War. We can't do it without you.

Love and hugs,
d.

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