If my Family was a sports team and cancer was in our division, the Fultonís would have a losing record in head-to-head matchups with the disease.
Cancer has claimed my grandparents, aunts and uncles, as well as taken my mother to overtime in two match-ups before she vanquished it.
My mother is a unique individual. When breast cancer challenged her the first time, she went into the fight on her own. I was away in the Navy at the time and rather than telling me about what she was getting ready to face, she chose to keep her support team small. As she would explain to me later, she didnít want me to worry (I respectfully scolded her for that choice later). My mother wanted to be focused on what it takes to win and not worry if I was ok.
She beat cancer the first time in a sweep. I donít know what she dealt with during that time because my mother didnít make me aware of it until I was out of the Navy and back home. When she did mentioned her fight with the deadly disease, she said it in passing like it was the common cold that she had caught and got rid of over the weekend.
On the outside, my mother was the same strong woman ready to take on the world and she did. She went right back to practicing law without missing a beat. On the inside she was a changed woman. She took the time to smell the roses, even if they were right outside of the courthouse on her way to preside over a case.
When cancer decided it wanted a rematch, my mother was more than concerned. She increased the size of her support team and (something my mother rarely ever does,) she depended on others for help. She knew she was going in for the fight of her life. If cancer was coming after her again, she was going to go after it with reckless abandon. My mother underwent chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants like a champion.
Cancer wanted to take her life before she was ready to go and she wasnít going to go without a fight. She beat cancer a second time, but this time the disease had taken a toll on her. Because of chemotherapy, her hearing wasnít the same and for a long time she had a hard time catching her breath. In all fairness, my mother is a terrible patient. If the doctor tells her she is not suppose to do something and she feels she can do it, she is going to do it anyway.
She did recover and the cancer has been in remission ever since. Cancer has taken her off its schedule and my mother currently holds the championship of life.
October is breast cancer Awareness Month and every year I am reminded that there are more people fighting the same fight my mother did. To anyone whoís currently in the fight, donít give up. That is the most important thing to remember. Never quit fighting. Lean on your friends and Family. Know that we want to be a part of the team.