As part of our commitment to spreading awareness and supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, we are featuring Survivor Stories through the entire month of October. This story is from Josie, a teenager living in the US, whose grandmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Read below for her story.
I was only three-years-old when one of my Grandmothers was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, but I don’t really remember it much. Last year, however, my other grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I remember it vividly. My dad collected my siblings and the rest of my family into the living room with some “news” he needed to tell us. He said that his mom, my grandma, had Breast Cancer which was weird to me because I had just seen her two months before and she looked fine. That’s when I learned cancer wasn’t all about looks. Fortunately, my dad explained, the doctors had caught the cancer very only on and it had only invaded a few cells that could easily be removed through surgery.
My grandma lives on the other side of the country so my family doesn’t get to see her that often, usually once, sometimes twice a year. After she was diagnosed, I didn’t get to see her for almost a year. The details are hazy but she started going to Chemo and soon, all her hair was gone. I saw a picture of her from Christmas and she had a wig on. She didn’t look like the grandma I knew, but I told myself it was just a wig and she hadn’t changed at all. Her hair would be back in no time and she would be normal again. About two or three months later my dad stopped by to visit her during one of his business trips and said she wore a hat most of the time because her hair was so short. She didn’t let that stop her from looking beautiful and she started wear lots of gorgeous hats, they were all different styles and colors.
Even though she was practically bald, she still had confidence, she was always smiling a big smile and truly looked happy. I’m not sure how many girls, including me, could say they would be happy and confident if they had cancer, but my grandma didn’t let the disease stop her from looking lovely every day. She still put on her famous red lipstick and red nail polish, and still looked the same, except her hair of course.
This past summer when we went to visit her, her hair looked different than before. Before the cancer and the chemo, her hair was blond and straight, but now it was curly, and she had became a red head! I knew that cancer could make hair change, but it was still strange seeing my Grandma like that. The good thing is that now she’s healthy and cancer free. Throughout this experience she has shown me that confidence is important, whether you have cancer or not. So every day when I wake up, I try and add a smile and lots of confidence. Because confidence is what completes your everyday look.
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