October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
October is also the month we celebrate the birth of my mother.
Six months ago, those two statements had nothing to do with each other, other than having the word "October" in them. But in May of this year, after a routine mammogram, my mother was told she had a mass in her breast. And after her biopsy, it was confirmed: cancer.
Such a scary word, isn't it? Cancer. I have had two grandfathers, a stepfather-in-law, and several church family members lose their earthly lives to cancer. It is a devastating disease. So naturally, when my mother called to tell me her mass was, in fact, the "c-word", I should have been scared. Mortified. Shocked. Angry. But you know what? My mother wasn't those things. She was calm. Peaceful. Even somewhat matter-of-fact. As if she were telling me this was just another speed bump in life, like changing jobs or a car breaking down. She is a strong woman. No...that isn't true: she is a weak woman, who fully relies on the strength of her God. You see, humans cannot overcome cancer. Therefore, humans have no hope when they are told they have cancer. But my mother knows that God controls her life, and God has already conquered cancer. If her cancer is healed here on earth: Praise God; she's got a few more years with us here! If her cancer consumes her body & takes away her earthly life: Praise God; she's got a new body that will never see disease again! Either way - Praise God; he is the ultimate Healer!
Mom's cancer was removed. She had a partial mastectomy in May. The cancer was actually pretty tiny. So her story had a happy ending. Not everyone's battle with cancer ends the same way. This month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let's not just think about how we can detect & treat breast cancer, but all cancers. And let's remember those who lost their earthly bodies to this terrible disease, and the families who deal with this on a daily basis.