Friday, September 20, 2013

Amanda's message for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Thanks to the Canadian Cancer Society for turning Amanda's notes and one of my photos into a concise and moving message for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This was posted on Facebook and has been spread widely.


From the Facebook post:
Amanda is a proud mother, cancer fighter and passionate advocate for ovarian cancer awareness.

Diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer 5 months ago when her baby was born, 34-year-old Amanda is thankful every day for baby Gordon and for the support her mother and stepfather have provided:

“They have taken on the majority of the baby’s day-to-day care to allow my husband to continue to work and me to rest and cope with the side effects of treatment. They have sacrificed so much to help us. They bring the baby to my bedside and hospital room – wherever I am – to ensure our mother-child bond stays strong. Gordon is constantly surrounded by love and is a beautiful, thriving little boy.”

Her advice to other mothers with cancer: “You must take care of yourself – this is what your children need most from you now.”

And to all cancer patients: “Inform yourself as much as possible, including the statistics, but don’t get bogged down by them. Instead, find your fight and vow not to be one of them.”

A good, tight summary of it. Barb and Wendall have been amazing through this, taking care of Gordon every day. I wouldn't have been able to keep working without them. I wouldn't be able to visit Amanda in hospital without them. She wouldn't see Gordon in hospital without them.

As for the stats -- it's hard not to feel defeated by the numbers, but every case is unique. Amanda's found solace in the notion that she's not bound by everyone else's statistics. She's a case study of one. Her circumstances are not the same as everyone else's. That doesn't mean she's excepted from the hard realities, but it gives her room to breathe when looking at numbers that are frankly disheartening.

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