Today marks the seven year anniversary of this phone call, received by my friend Sue Rylko and shared here with her permission.
The phone rings.
“Hi Sue.” My doctor. “I can’t believe I am telling you this, but you have breast cancer.”
I’m sure she said more than that, but I honestly don’t remember.
I was so fortunate. It was early. It was non-invasive. I had a wonderful husband who had terrific health insurance. I had a doctor who would soon be named one of the top breast cancer surgeons in the country.
Seven years later, I still consider myself fortunate! I remain healthy. I still have my wonderful husband and family! And I “graduated” from my surgeon’s semi-annual care! I kind of miss her, but truthfully, I hope I never see her again!
All this is why I walk in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It’s a joining of thousands of people with common goals: to research the cause of breast cancer; to find a cure for breast cancer; to offer screenings to those who otherwise would not have access; to provide care for those who are diagnosed with breast cancer, but are not covered by insurance.
I walk for my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor. My aunt is also a survivor and I walk for her. My sister-in-law, Barbara, fought her way back from Stage 3 breast cancer! She kicked its butt big time! I run a little for her!!
I walk for Ed’s cousin’s daughter-in-law, Janet, who lost a long battle with breast cancer two and a half years ago. She left behind a beautiful family who still miss her terribly. I keep a picture of Janet close by to keep me motivated when I don’t feel like putting on those walking shoes. “One more mile,” she seems to tell me!
My goal is to raise $3600 in the fight against breast cancer. I’m asking you to please help me so that someday no one will have to hear those words, “I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but you have breast cancer.”
One More Mile is the name we choose for our team in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. One More Mile is what we'll chant as our mantra as we walk 39 miles on June 2 and 3. I'll walk one more mile in my shoes so that hopefully one day, one person will not have to walk in her shoes. One more mile, so that someone's mother, sister or daughter won't answer the phone and hear that message.