Breast Cancer

What Breast Cancer Took From Me

My mother was my everything. She was the strongest person I knew, she was a warrior. But as I saw her with tears streaming down her eyes while biting back the pain, I knew the end was near. It was so difficult watching her go through this. My heart was slowly shattering into a thousand pieces. Piece by piece. How can life be so cruel? How can life take away someone so early and leave three children motherless?

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties. In my early thirties,  I was still just getting comfortable in my own skin as a woman. With three kids in tow (all under the age of 9) this woman went to work, packed our lunches, went to her chemotherapy and radiation treatments and not once missed cooking a meal for us. She battled this on and off for about 12 years till the cancer came back with a vengeance. It spread to her bones, her kidney, and her brain. Once it affected her nerves, my mother who always blessed us with her bright smile no longer had the ability to smile anymore. Breast Cancer destroyed her. It took her essence. This was when I knew it was the end, for the woman in front of me was no longer my mother.  Then one day, a week before Christmas, she passed away leaving us with a pain so unbearable that I felt I was being punched in my stomach over and over for hours until I felt numb and curled up into a ball and cried myself to sleep. For years I lived with regret wishing I spent more time with her instead of hanging out with my friends, wishing I had been more supportive, that I told her what she really meant to me. It is only recently I have made amends with it because I realized I was only a teenager myself when I lost her.

Why am I sharing my story with you? I, who hates even putting a picture of me on Facebook or sharing what I did at lunch? If my mother was diagnosed today with breast cancer she would have been alive.  That’s because breast cancer research has advanced in leaps and bounds. But that has only been possible because of not for profit organizations that have devoted their time and efforts toward finding a cure and helping support women that are going through this ugly disease.

For me, breast cancer is a personal fight as it took away my mother at the age of 48. It took her away from being there when I graduated from college, from standing by my side on my wedding day and from being there to witness her first grandson. So you can understand how personal this is for me. Women afflicted with this disease at a young age are also challenged with a different set of issues. Many of them have young children, careers are put on hold and financial issues arise as they may not be able to help provide for the family anymore. That is why today we are proud to partner with the Young Survival Coalition, a not for profit organization that works to bring awareness of the issue as well as the attention of the medical and research community on young women that are faced with breast cancer.  In the past, much attention has not been given toward understanding the factors that cause breast cancer in young women and how to best treat or cure it. Please join us in helping spread awareness.



Leaving you with Love + Light,

Shadoh Punnapuzha