It happened before I was born.
The breast cancer diagnosis, that is. She was in her late 40s, taking a shower and found a lump in her breast. This was a time when breast cancer survival was far lower than it is today. A mastectomy was a radical procedure, but her doctor’s convinced her it was her only option.
My sweet Grammy, husband-less at the time, was willing if it meant she would have more time in this world. And more time is exactly what she has had. Today she is 97, going on 98. The breast cancer took her breast, but not her life, not her spirit.
She has always been a very private person – so we don’t often talk about that time in her life. But I know she was scared. I know she was embarrassed. I also know she triumphed. This barely 5 foot, peanut of a woman kicked cancer in the rear and has lived cancer-free for close to fifty years. She has watched her only son become a dad and then a grandfather.
She has lived through World Wars, the invention of the car, the television and the Internet. She has lived to be a Great-Grandmother.
Strong. Remarkable. Proud. Inspiring. All words I can use to describe the woman who makes the best Rice Crispy treats in the universe.
But probably her best title: Survivor. Last year, I was thrilled to contribute to The Little Pink Prayer Book, Coping Healing, Surviving, Thriving in her honor.
Danielle blogs at Extraordinary Mommy