The Superhero

The Superhero

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As many of you know, breast cancer research and awareness is a cause very close to my heart.  My daughter Lisa is a four-year survivor.  She was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 33, while pregnant.  If that weren’t enough, she tested positive for the BRCA (Breast Cancer) gene mutation, which put her at very high risk for a recurrence of breast cancer and for ovarian cancer.  So she fought back.

After having both breasts removed, her ovaries removed, chemo, radiation, reconstruction, and oh, yeah, a baby (her third child),  Lisa is cancer-free.  But she is a The Superhero, and she continues to fight against breast cancer in every way she can.  That’s just what superheroes do.

I wrote about Lisa’s story here:

They Walk
The Superhero
Falter

Thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Tara at If Mom Says OK, I’ve just learned about the Saving Second Base Project.  Two bloggers, Rachel at A Southern Fairytale and Tricia at Once a Month Mom, are collaborating on this project to raise funds for breast cancer research.  They are collecting recipes and stories which they will compile in an e-book.  At the end of the month, the e-book will be available for everyone to buy, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  100%!  These women are superheroes too!

I am proud to participate in this effort by contributing one of Lisa’s favs, The Superhero’s Favorite Chili.  I’ll let you know when the recipe has been posted.

In the meantime, remember what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about.  Take care of your girls with a monthly self-exam, and remind all your friends to do so too.  If you find anything out of the ordinary, see your doctor right away.  Right away.  Don’t put it off.

And you guys out there?  Breast cancer can can attack you too.  Though it happens with far less frequency, there are almost 2,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in men every year.  If you see any changes, see your doctor.

This is a terrible disease.  Odds are you know someone with breast cancer.  One in every eight women will be diagnosed with it during her lifetime.   The American Cancer Society estimates that 249,290 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2010.  But it can be stopped.  So let’s put on our capes and join the superheroes in the battle and defeat it.  Now.

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19 Responses to The Superhero

  1. Tara R. says:

    Oh Patti! Thank you so much for sharing Lisa’s story. I am so glad she fought back and won her fight against cancer. I hope she continues to remain healthy and cancer-free.

    I’m looking forward to seeing her chili recipe… perfect for cold fall nights.

  2. brian says:

    thank you so much for sharing her story…she is a superhero and what a cool idea these ladies have put together…my dad has had over 100 skin cancer surgeries…my uncle…my cousin…each have had their own…a dreadful disease…

    • PattiKen says:

      Thanks for visiting over here, Brian. Your dad is really fighting a good fight. My husband’s family has a strong skin cancer streak, too. Everyone of them has had skin cancer.

      Yeah, Lisa is a Superhero. In the 2010 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, she and her team raised over $28,000 for breast cancer research. OK, yeah, I’m bragging just a bit…

      • Katherine says:

        Cancer has struck close to home for me as well. My husband died from skin cancer 3 years ago, and my father died from prostate cancer when he was 40 and my sister and I were 2 1/2 and 5 years. Cancer can be devastating, but the strength of character that comes from it is absolutely incredible. I wish strength to you and your daughter as you recover from your cancer journey and hope it never returns. The memories are enough and to say that you beat it is worth celebrating over and over again!

      • PattiKen says:

        Katherine: I’m so sorry to hear about your husband and your father. They were both too young. Sadly, cancer doesn’t discriminate. Everyone is a potential victim, regardless of age.

        I agree with your comment about how cancer strengthens character. Lisa has said that cancer saved her life. She learned to fight. Since, she has completed half of her master’s program, gotten licensed as a Moderate Special Needs Teacher, and begun work that she really loves. Watching her fight and win made me stronger too, I know.

        Thank you for visiting here and sharing your thoughts.

  3. buttercup600 says:

    This is very dear to my heart, I thank you so much for sharing this story with us Patti..the month of October is such a special one, we all should do everything to promote and make people aware of this! What a wonderful lady she is!! Hugs to you my friend xxx

  4. Rachel says:

    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

    HOORAY for your daughter!
    I am not ashamed to admit that I cried a bit while scheduling your post tonight xo

    • PattiKen says:

      Rachel, you are so welcome. What you ladies are doing is so great! I am laying paper (OK, maybe not paper. bytes?) all over telling the world. I wish you the best of success with this.

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  7. JeffScape says:

    Hey, hey… given your recent rant about athlete salaries, thought you’d like to know about Larry Fitzgerald, a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals.

    He’s pledged to donate $1000 to breast cancer charities for every catch he makes in October and $5000 for every touchdown he scores. I’m watching him play right now (they’re playing my Chargers)… he already has 7 catches and the game’s far from over.

    • PattiKen says:

      What a good doobie! I know that lots of athletes do a lot of good with their filthy lucre good wages. I wish they all did.

      Thanks for telling me about Fitzgerald. It made me smile.

  8. Dianne says:

    writing about what we know and the times and trials which do not make sense, or finding our own sense of it! You should write about this and communicate it on your blog. thank you for sharing the intimacy and courage of your family’s struggle.

    • PattiKen says:

      Thanks for coming, Dianne, and for your thoughts. We should all do this. Actually, if you look back on this blog, you’ll find I do quite a bit of … well, just sort of blurting it all out when it comes to what i think about things. I try to keep it lighthearted and maybe even funny, except for this one. There is nothing funny about breast cancer.

      You know, as I was writing that, I was remembering one of those holiday letters I got a few years ago. You know the ones, those letters we hate to get full of all the “news” about the family during the previous year. The letters from this friend are the only ones I enjoy, look forward to even, because they are always so funny. The letter that year was about her breast cancer, and it was hysterical. I’m happy to say she got through it, and is fine today. Her sense of humor no doubt helped with that.

  9. 2zpoint says:

    Pattiken,
    Thank you for your kindness. Your story of your daughter is inspirational in the fact that there is hope of life after breast cancer. I hope that it never comes back as it did with my mom. She was in remission for almost 6 years. During that time she was on a trial drug that apparently kept the cancer at bay because when the trial ended the cancer came back with a vengeance. She has fought it vigorously over the past 14 months enduring radiation and every kind of chemotherapy from palladium to platinum. She tried home remedies and seen some improvement for a time combining Sir Jason Winters Tea and Immuno Max during a period of her treatments but ultimately she is passing withing the next few days. Her tentative plan before it came to this point was to fight it until her body failed which is close to what happened. Her lack of nourishment put her at a weakened state and forced her liver to quit functioning. It has reached the point where she would have the life of a vegetable if I made them give her a nasal feeding tube. I could not let her suffer more than she already is.
    As a side note to let you know what kind of person my mother has been I will tell you a few quick facts.
    She was a devoted wife of 30 years (before my father left her)
    She took care of my 27 year old 320 lb autistic brother until it was physically impossible
    She refused to move into my house and let me take care of her right up to the day I found her laying in the floor covered in feces with a core temperature of 89 degrees even though I talked to her just before I checked on her and she said “don’t worry about me I’m alright” in a very faint voice because she was worried that I would quit going to school and take care of her
    She went to the church to get baptized 2 months ago under sheer force of will…It took her two rest breaks to get to the front of that small church and climb a flight of stairs, get baptized, and two more rest breaks to get back to the vehicle under her own demand and power.
    She insisted a month ago while she was receiving blood that I go down to the cafeteria of the Cancer Treatment Center to repay a dime that she was short for a meal there 2 days before and I had to hunt down the person that did it just so they would know that it was her that payed them back.
    She walked a very meek and modest path like a lion. I could not be more proud of her than I am today. I wrote the article that I did because it is very infuriating to have to see her suffer after all that I have told you and countless other selfless actions that she has done. I just can’t believe that we as Americans treat animals with more mercy than people. She should not have to go through this kind of pain. Best wishes for you and yours.

    • PattiKen says:

      Dear… I just realized that I don’t know your name…

      You mom sounds like an extraordinary woman. You should be very proud of her. She is showing you what love looks like and what strength looks like. You sounds like a son she must be equally proud of. And I suspect she is proud of herself too when she looks at you. She raised you to be the man you are. I’m so sad for you. I know how I felt when Lisa (my daughter) was fighting through this. And you must feel so much worse. I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I hope your mom doesn’t have to suffer much longer.

      If you feel like venting, just e-mail me. I’m happy to listen and offer whatever comfort I can.

      Sending good thoughts your way.

      Patti

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