October 17, 2020 10:00 AM | by Farida Abdel Malek
Fustany Talks: What Having a Loved One Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Made Me Realize
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I think I've spent almost the last 10 years telling my mom to go get a yearly check up for breast cancer. She never did. This year she finally did and in passing told my aunt in to come with her. A couple of weeks later I found out my aunt was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I'm not going to be getting into details about what happened, I think I'm going to be focusing more on what the experience made me realize and how I saw it affect my family.
From very early on, we were really lucky to hear only good news from the doctors. Everyone was treating it like it was nothing, just a simple operation as easy as getting your tonsils removed. I remember saying to my aunt that we should all be really grateful and this is literally the best case scenario. Which we all really were. But I think we were all pretty shocked by the fact that we found out so randomly and were horrified by the idea of...what if. What if she hadn't went with my mom? What if my mom hadn't finally decided to go?
It was such a light bulb moment realizing that the smallest decisions and paths you take on a daily basis can literally save your life or someone else's life, without you even knowing. I remember thinking that I never thought we'd have to deal with something like that, but then again who does.
I also have this part of me that always tries to explain everything and make sense of life. Like if you get breast cancer then your diet is probably horrible or you have a history in your family. We really don't have that much of a history, and my aunt is a vegetarian. What I'm trying to say is that this really taught me to just accept that life will not make sense. Yes, you should take care of your health and get regular checkups, but you never know when, how or why things happen the way they happen.
This is my first, hopefully last and only experience with breast cancer. I'm not gonna say it was easy, it wasn't. But, I'll tell what made it not so hard. As cheesy as it sounds, support and family. Being there for her, for each other and reminding each other to stay positive and stay grateful is what made it pass by and pass by quickly. I can't speak for my aunt, because it was no where near easy for her and she went through a lot of emotional pain, but I could tell how much our presence and comforting was something she needed.
Please do your check ups and remind your loved ones to do theirs. It could save your life and their lives. Don't wait till you older. Start now.
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