October is fast approaching us, and many things come with October. The smell of fall in the air, the beauty of the mountains with the changing leaves, little kids Trick or Treating, football, and if we all think hard we can think of something near to our hearts that October brings.
One thing we sometimes don’t pay so much attention to is that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is a disease that both women and men can get, however it is much more common in women. The effects of breast cancer leave pain and hurt for men, woman and children, as all are affected by a loved one going through this. Any cancer is a hard reality for us to face.
In my work, having been a nurse for many years, I have been at the bedside with many cancer patients as their bodies shut down and their souls passed over. I started classes for nursing at the age of 17 and had finished school and working full time in this work by the tender age of 19. Pretty early into my career, I figured out I take no pleasure in seeing people suffer…
Sometimes I would step back and wonder why I chose a profession where sometimes people get well, and sometimes they don’t. You see I was always too quick to pick up guilt when people didn’t get well. It was very hard for me to “nurse” someone knowing they were dying, and nothing I could do could stop that. I felt guilty for not being able to save them.
Then after 9 years in nursing cancer reared it’s ugly head in my family. My grandfather was diagnosed with a return of prostate cancer. He had been diagnosed and treated 12 years before, but this time the cancer had spread. He had cancer in his bones, lungs, brain and his prostate. I remember my entire family sitting on the couches outside my grandfathers hospital room as the doctor spoke. Thank God the doctor was kind and spoke with love and kindness even though the news he brought to us was very hard to bare. I made it through about the first two sentences before I could feel myself emotionally draw up into a fetal position.
The hurt was enough that I felt as if I were outside my body watching a movie. Watching this as if it were someone elses family sitting there being told this shocking news. I remember looking at them with love and compassion as I turned and looked in at my grandfather lying in the bed of his hospital room. As I looked at my grandfather from that view I realized that was not my grandfather lying there, well it was, but it wasn’t. My grandfather’s body had shriveled to a mere skeleton, and the light in his eyes was not there.
My grandfather was 60 years old the day I was born, and he was my best friend…at the age of 27.. I faced losing my best friend to cancer. My grandfather’s body died and his soul passed on the day after my 28th birthday. My grandfather is still very much alive in my heart, his love and all the memories are imprinted in my heart and I will carry that with me always. You see, somethings cancer cannot destroy… and LOVE cannot be taken by cancer, nor can it be destroyed by cancer.
Cancer didn’t care that was my grandfather…but Love did.. Love lives on and lights the way for us still today.
Ladies for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please take time to take care of yourself. It is never to early for preventative healing. Start doing monthly breast exams, consult with your physician about baseline mammograms and be kind to yourself. Cancer is a dis-ease that shows up in our body when we carry toxins around in our body… It’s time to heal…