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Life Her Story

My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 29. She passed away when she was 34, when my mom was just 15 years old. It’s a loss that’s left a void that can never be filled. More than thirty years later, my mom still deals with the pain of losing her best friend. Only recently did I realize how much breast cancer would affect my own life, too. Even though I’ve never met my grandmother, I feel like I know her well. I’ve always been told how my smile mirrors hers, how I take after her with my smarts and how we’ve both suffered from migraines nearly the exact same way. We...
My grandmother, Boe, has lived with my family from the time I was born. As a kid, I could not have hoped for anything better. The treats, gifts and showering of attention that other children received on occasional visits to grandma’s house were all a constant fixture in my life. Going to garage sales was our activity of choice, and I never walked away from a day of sales without a new toy. In short, I was spoiled rotten. Yet, amidst the pampering, my clearest childhood memory of time spent with my grandmother wasn’t a present or treat, but running into Boe’s room to snatch my favorite toy...
On January 30, 2013, I flew to Miami to celebrate my 28th birthday. Upon waking up the morning after my arrival, I noticed a large bloodstain all down my nightshirt, all over my bed sheets and down my left arm. I looked everywhere on my body to find a scab or even a clot, but I couldn’t find anything. Since I was on vacation and didn’t want to put myself into a panic, I decided it must have been a nosebleed. For months after, I continuously kept seeing small blood stains on my shirts or bras, but when I looked for a cut or a scab I still couldn’t find a source. Then on the morning of April...