Why We PRP….A Mother’s Day Blog

Why We PRP….A Mother’s Day Blog

Even before I started reading my way through the wall of Mother’s Day cards, I knew I wasn’t going to find one this year.  I didn’t want to read them, [...]
Even before I started reading my way through the wall of
Mother’s Day cards, I knew I wasn’t going to find one this year.  I didn’t want to read them, I didn’t want to
feel like I was choking back tears, or feel disappointed that nobody seemed to
be able to put into words what I was feeling for my Mom.  I didn’t want to think about the future, I
didn’t even want to think about the past. 
I just didn’t want to.
So I walked away empty handed. 
My head and my heart were full of things I
wanted to express for my Mom, and to her. 
Things I want people to understand about Stage IV breast cancer, about
the brave souls fighting their battle with it, and about the families and
friends battling alongside them.
I remembered I did have a card tucked away that I had been
saving for my Mom.  To me, it seems to
better capture the person she is: the selfless woman I admire, the courageous
fighter I am in awe of, and the fierce giver of support, encouragement and love
she shares with the world every day…….

“Once in a blue moon, people will surprise you…
and once in a while,
people may even take your breath away.” – Grey’s Anatomy
Thank you for making mine a lifetime of blue moons.

My Mom has always kind of taken my breath away.  From the early days when you love your Mommy
just because she’s the most beautiful Mommy in the world, to the years when
your love grows into respect, admiration, and gratitude, my Mom has never
stopped amazing me.  She never will.   I will never be able to fully express my
love, but I promise I will never stop trying.
Being part of the family of a Stage IV patient is a delicate
balance.  There are so many days when
people tell me how good Mom looks, and how they almost forget that she’s sick,
and I am thankful for every one of these days and comments.  As her family, we are thankful for every good
day, and every good checkup.  Whether we
acknowledge it fully, our collective anxiety rises as each scan and test is
performed leading up to her next three month checkup.  We hold our breath, waiting for either the
other shoe to drop, or a good checkup. 
Good meaning that the cancer in her bones is staying put, and not taking
up residence in more sites, or in her organs. 
Living with Stage IV in the family feels like a constant battle against
the disease, and the clock.  Daily, we
balance hope and fear, optimism and realism, and often struggle with so many
questions that don’t have answers. 
Mom takes her hormone therapy and bone strengthening
injections like most people take their vitamins.  She puts up with her family of watchdogs
checking up on her – is she eating enough, resting enough, sleeping well,
taking time with her friends, and taking time for herself??  She has always approached her fight with an
attitude of accepting whatever it takes to keep her here for “her people”.
What I hope she knows is how very blessed we all feel to be “her
people.”  She worries endlessly about how
her cancer impacts her family, her friends, our friends, and the people around
her.  It is hard, absolutely, but in the
face of uncertainty and difficulties, our family has grown stronger and
closer.  We tell it like it is, hold each
other a little tighter, and make the most of the moments we have together.  Our extended circle of love and support is
also amazing, and we have nothing but gratitude for that.
We are three years into this journey with Metastatic Breast
Cancer.  A disease we knew very little
about prior to Mom’s diagnosis.  We
really didn’t know that 30% of those diagnosed with breast cancer will have it
come back as Stage IV. 
We didn’t know
any of the things we maybe should have been watching for.  We didn’t know there were so many types of
breast cancer, so many treatment plans, or so many people battling.  We just didn’t know.  Until we had to.
I think that is one of the most important things for people
to understand about the Pink Ribbon Project
To us, it is not just a fundraiser. We have so many reasons why we PRP…. It is about taking action in the face of something so much bigger than
just our story.  We are raising money,
but we are also raising awareness, educating people, and creating a community
of support where people feel they can find the resources they need, or someone
who just might understand a little of what they are going through.  As we work to educate ourselves, we hope to
educate others.  As we find our voice for
those fighting this disease, we hope others will join in to make that voice
stronger.
The first two years of PRP benefitted the Canadian BreastCancer Foundation, which focuses funds mainly on awareness, research, and early
detection.  This year we have expanded
our focus to include the Canadian Breast Cancer Network as a second beneficiary.  This survivor driven agency works to make
sure patients are getting the best care and support possible.  Recently they have placed more focus on Stage
IV, which is why it is so important to share our support with them at this
time.  They are fighting to ensure that
Stage IV patients have access to the medications and treatments they need to
prolong life.
We are proud to lend our support and voices to both of these
organizations as they work to provide the research, support, and advocacy
needed across all stages of breast cancer. 
Both are needed, both are important, and both provide hope and resources
to those who need it most.  For us, it
has to be both.
 
We need to continue
supporting the work towards an eventual cure, while also supporting those
working on life extending treatments for those facing Stage IV right now.
Each year my list of reasons grows as to why I PRP.  My hope is that sharing our stories helps
other people to understand more about this disease, and that sharing our event
creates a feeling of community and strength. 
Some days I feel like my three year-old at bedtime asking, “Mommy, will
you stay with me for just a little longer?” 
Other days, I can feel stronger, that as we educate, advocate &
donate, we are making progress, making a contribution, and possibly a different
story.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! 
Thank you for being a fighter always – I love you to the moon and back,
and more than all the stars in the sky….xoxo
~Tara

(For event & ticket information for the Pink Ribbon Project please see our webpage or  follow us Facebook )

2 Comments

  1. Very nice
    My mom just passed away on Tuesday, May 10th from metastasized breast cancer stage 4. In her bones, brain, lungs, liver. I have never felt so devestated. Blessings to your family

    1. Thank you for reading and for sending blessings our way. So very sorry for your loss.

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