Hope, Courage and Love for Breast Cancer

As many people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month; a time to promote awareness about this very prominent disease that impacts 1 in 8 women. To further bring awareness to the disease, this profile is dedicated to the experience from the perspective of daughter with a mother  I interviewed one of my best friends, who also happens to be my roommate, Carly Furst.

 

How old were you when your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer? What was her diagnosis?

"I was 6 or 7, and my mom was diagnosed with stage two (triple negative)."

 

Do you remember how you felt or what you thought of it when you found out?

"I was to little to understand when it happened, but they explained to me that she was going to be sick  and that she would be in the hospital for a while. They were always asking me if i was going to be ok."

 

"I remember when she left for her double mastectomy my dad had to go to work still so I would have to go to the neighbors house in the mornings to wait for the school bus, and after I got back from school I would have to go back to the neighbors or stay with other family members."

 

"Living in New York at the time, we had to complete a summer homework packet in order to go onto the next grade level. I remember doing most of that packet in the waiting rooms of hospitals. One time I wanted to sit with my mom in her hospital bed and I remember I  accidentally pulled on one of her cords."

 

How did your family react to it?

"My brother was super creeped out because my aunt had breast cancer too and died from it, so he was worried. I remember my older sister who was 13 at the time had to help take care of my mom and give her baths. That was the christmas that my mom gave my sister, my brother, and I all a special christmas tree ornament with a meaningful word on it. The words were hope, courage, and love. Eventually we all the words she chose for us tattooed to honor her."

 

Did this experience change the relationship your family has?

"I think it made us closer to our dad because it was different seeing his emotional side."

 

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with others who may be going through the same thing?

"After my mom got her chemo in 2002 we moved from New York to California because she didn’t really care for the long cold winters, and she told us that life was too short not to enjoy it. She makes sure we know that she wants us all to live every day to the fullest, have no regrets, and take advantage of your opportunities because you never know when your last day is."

 

Quotes by Carly Furst

Photos from Carly Furst