Why do people say that a person has “lost their battle” with cancer when they pass away? Did they really lose? Maybe the fought for a long, long, long time and now they are ready to move on. Maybe they fought long and hard and actually won the fight because they didn’t let cancer take them away 40 years ago. Maybe the battle was about living a fulfilled life
with this monster in their system despite this monster in their system.
Cancer is close to my family. I’m sure we all know someone who has dealt with cancer in same shape or form. The “c” word has become all too common in our culture. While there are several different cancers, October is about breast cancer. So here’s my story.
I have never had cancer. I do have family members that have had cancer. I have two aunts that have passed away from cancer. I have a mother-aunt that passed away from cancer after fighting for 40 years. Her name is Aunt Diane.
I call Diane my mother-aunt because she was definitely like a mother to me. You see, she never had children of her own. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just in college. Yep. She was diagnosed super young. The Aunt Diane I know was always interested in biology and what goes on in the medical field. She could answer any question you had about medicine or procedures. It figures though. She not only dealt with these things, she also took care of sick friends and family members. She’s given so much that it would literally take a book to go through it all. Just know that if you needed someone then she was the one to call. She wasn’t the richest but she would give her last to you. My Aunt Diane passed away 2 years ago. She was 59. She lived nearly 40 years with that c word in her life. Her death hit me with a sense of relief at first. She had been struggling a bit before her death. I could tell it was wearing away at her. But then that sick sense of longing set in. I wanted her back. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have her in my life anymore. I was so fortunate to have her for my 31 years of life. I wanted her for more though. I wanted to share my children with her. I wanted her to see the many places I’d live. I wanted her to always win those battles.
I found out after she passed away that she knew this time would be her last. She’d had a few bouts and this one was different. I kind of knew something was up when she asked me to take her picture. Not only did she ask me to photograph her, she asked me to do it without her wig on. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I feel like I’m supposed to share her story. I’m supposed to share about her. For now, I’m going to share this photo and remind you to never, ever give up on anything. Continue to fight. Continue to make the most of your life.
Aunt Diane didn’t lose her battle with cancer. She didn’t lose the fight. She lived a life.
Make sure you get checked for breast cancer or any other type of cancer. Have your yearly exams and stay vigilant. Get treated and live your life to the fullest.