My Aunt Had Breast Cancer
It’s unexpected. It’s like breaking a bone but it is really breaking your heart. My aunt Mindy Mitchell had breast cancer but I wonder how did she get it? Cancer is like the five w’s I learned in class last year, who, what, when, where, and how. I thought I was going to die but in reality I thought she was going to die. There were times tears filled my eyes and many days when the tears ran down my cheeks like the hoover dam shattered.
My aunt got diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I didn’t know there was more than one type of breast cancer but there is and she got the one where there is a one percent chance you could get it. My aunt would have seven rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a double mastectomy, and after that twenty-five rounds of radiation. I heard radiation tears your skin up like fire on your chest. I knew it would be a journey, a battle of war, most of all a walk on faith’s path.
The War Begins
The first day of my Aunt’s chemo she was tired, it seemed like she acted like a newborn baby, tired and drowning in blankets. If we asked her how she felt she would say,
“I just got hit by a truck.”
The next week after her chemo she would be feeling great, better than ever, then she gets hit by the truck again. Every third Thursday our whole family dreaded but the thing that mocked me every time until it happened, the big question, “Is when was her hair going to fall out?” It gave me the chills to think about when it was going to fall out and what it was going to look like. I thought it’s gross to see hair falling out in piles. One by one, on pillows or even at the dinner table! Gross!! Mindy finally decided that she wanted to shave her head but she wasn’t going to do it the easy way, she wanted all of my family to shave her hair together. When it appeared that it was my turn to shave her hair, I just went at it. When I shaved her head, I saw the clumps falling down, and I felt that the war had started to show itself, loading bullets and praying to God that you will see your family again. I looked over I see my mom crying and I knew the first bullet was armed.
The First Stepping Stone
Finally, it had arrived the first stepping stone. Today was a big day for my family, it was the last day of chemo. It kinda felt like cancer was over for my aunt but it was just the beginning. Through my long day at school I thought about my aunt. I felt happy and scared. After her last chemo it was her double mastectomy which was the scary thing. Her life would change not having any breasts. Would she feel embarrassed as a thirty year old?
Radiation seemed scary also, a big machine trying to heel you, but really carving a picture of a burnt chest onto her body. It truly did scare me to know all of this but I trusted in God like always and most of all I prayed.
The Magic Touch
So far through this journey my aunt had touched many lives including doctors and people who had or have cancer. Today was the surgery, during my day I prayed but finally the six hour surgery was over and I was aloud to go to the hospital. I was very nervous to see her because I didn’t want to see my aunt in pain. I went in the room and she was sleeping but she looked really sick and looked like she was hurting. She needed to go to the bathroom, just then I realized she was really hurt when she was trying to walk and then stumbled, I mean like she really did get hit by a truck.
A couple days after surgery she was watching my softball games, walking, and really being up and awake. Then, finally radiation started, she and my grandma went every single day when I was at school. Radiation actually was like a roller coaster, it went by crazy fast. It burnt the heck out of her skin, green ooze, and scabs that are incomparable to monkey bar fallings, but all of these things didn’t even bug her. She was in pain and she would be playing outside, riding bikes, or even playing volleyball. She touched many lives doing these things and even touched mine.
The Light Now Shines
It was done, everything was over! This long, hard journey was over. So my aunt took a picture of herself and posted it on Facebook. She had no shirt on, she didn’t have any breasts. In her defense she could do that because men don’t have breasts, and they post pictures all over with their shirts off. The picture showed her ironed burnt chest, her chemo straggling hair, and the double mastectomy, breast less body. Only one person flagged it for nudity but others liked it, until their fingers fell off.
It went viral, thousands liked it in one day, even channel 9 news came to my house to interview this inspirational thirty year old. She wanted to make a blog named Stripes of a Warrior, where she would take other people’s cancer stories and highlight them for a whole week honoring only that person.
I think why she had cancer is obvious. God wanted to use her light and her energy to shine upon others in their journey and for her to show God’s love towards thousands of people. The meaning of cancer is not the meaning that you look up on the internet, it is what you think it is, an icky thing that seems scary but during the journey you realize that it is just a blessing you have to uncover.