As many of you already know, I was 15 when my mother died.
She had breast cancer. By the time she got help, it was already too late. But she fought her disease and emminent death as hard as she could. She even outlasted the doctor’s predictions of being dead within the month by a few years. Eventually the chemo, radiation and myraid of experimental medications weren’t enough.
Near the end, when she couldn’t walk, talk or feed herself I saw something on a talk show that gave me a glimmer of hope. It was a psychic of all things, that made the prediction that there would be a cure for cancer very soon. I remember thinking that the timing couldn’t be better. My mother needed this cure. And fast. So I prayed. And prayed. And prayed. When there almost wasn’t any time left, a family friend of ours told us about someone who had a cure for cancer. I don’t know if it cost anything, I’m not even sure who this person was, but family members drove the hour or so to get to this person and brought back a bucket of the nastiest looking stuff. It was black, like tar. And kind of chunky. I didn’t care and I hoped my mother wouldn’t either. I thought this was it! The miracle we had been hoping for. My mother was gonna be well again! So I diligently did as instructed and fed her this horrible black soup.
I pulled up a kitchen chair in front of her wheelchair, just as you might do when feeding your fussy toddler, legs splayed wide to get up nice and close. Because the cancer had spread to her brain, she had lost the ability to speak and perhaps even fully understand what I was up to. I explained the best I could and started shoveling this stuff in her mouth, wiping at her face to catch anything that she dribbled. I remember putting each spoonful in her mouth and wincing inside as she would grimace and struggle to get it down. But she did it and she dutifully swallowed every bite. I will never, however, forget the look in her eyes. Desperation, fear…love. I told her, with a little desperation of mine own, that she needed to finish everything in that bowl, that it would make her better. And she did.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
She died a few weeks later on May 3.
I remember thinking that perhaps the cure we had wasn’t the “cure”, but that eventually as per the psychics prediction, the cure would be revealed and shared with all those that were ill with this horrible illness.
It’s been 15 years and I am still waiting. It’s been too long and too many lives have been lost.
That is why I’m running in the CIBC Run For The Cure race this September. If you are able, no donation is too small, please make a donation on my behalf to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation or for more information visit my Run For The Cure personal page.