Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Write Pink!: Kim's Story

Please give a warm (comment-filled welcome) to a very special guest post today.

Kim is the younger sister of one of
Melissa’s College Roomates. Kim’s mother, Pat, is a 6-year cancer survivor because of persistence, knowing her body and early detection.

As a child growing up, my mother had always filled out all of my doctor forms.

“Check here if any of your relatives have had cancer.”

I saw check marks littering the page, but they were just squiggles on the paper. Even as a teenager when I began filling out my own paperwork -- the words “breast cancer” had little meaning for me.

One of my grandmothers had passed away from it before I was born; the other had a double mastectomy before I knew what that word meant.

In December of 2004, suddenly those boxes came to life for me.

My mother had felt a tiny lump about the size of a pea in one of her breasts. After the mammogram didn’t catch it, she told the doctor that she was sure there was something wrong.

The doctor shrugged it off, but my mother kept persisting. A sonogram revealed the small lump, which was diagnosed as breast cancer. Thankfully, my mother is stubbornly persistent and self-aware of her own body.

Because of that, the cancer was in the very early stages, so she was able to have surgery the next month and began radiation soon after that.

While I remember the pain of the radiation burns she dealt with, I also remember the sunshine-like smile on her face and the happy tears in her eyes as she walked in a “Survivor Lap” at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life that spring.

Anthony J. D’Angelo said,

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own

Seeing my mother remain positive and stay smiling through the horrors and pains of diagnosis, surgery, radiation, and recovery was enough to bring hope to others around her.

Coming this December, I will have had six more years (and counting) of memories of my mother. I can only hope that future generations will have more memories of their family members and fewer checked boxes in the breast-cancer column.

Kim is a graduate student at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale studying Clinical Counseling. Her blog is on a hiatus, but she tweets @ksriner.

By supporting today's survivor, Pat, and her daughter, Kim, through leaving a comment, you will automatically be entered to win $50 toward your choice of jewelry from The Vintage Pearl. For extra entries, you can link up your own Bigger Picture Moment survivor story {yours or a loved ones} or share how you'll take steps toward never even hearing a breast cancer diagnosis over at Sarah's tomorrow.


  1. Kim, your mother's persistence and bravery are motivators to us all to keep on top of our health concerns. I'm so glad that she's doing well and feeling healthy. The pictures are all beautiful and full of joy! Thanks Hyacynth for having Kim share her mother's story with us.

  2. Kim (and Pat!) thank you for sharing your inspiring story! remind us all that we know our bodies best, even if our name doesn't have an MD after it.

  3. I'm so glad your mom listened to her body rather than counting on an outsider to understand her concern. What a wonderful lesson for all of us -- nobody knows these boobs like I do :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your mom's story with us! Here's to a few more decades of shared smiles :)

  4. I'm glad your mom kept saying something was wrong. I hope those last 6 years were wonderful and wish you 60 more!

  5. This is such an amazing story- and highlights how important it is for us to know our bodies and be our own advocates. We can't always rely on doctors to be certain on whether or not we should be screened more. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  6. That is an amazing story of strength and persistence! One thing that I am really trying to teach my children is to listen to their bodies. We talk about listening to your body for everything from eating to potty training to knowing when to take a break. Thank you for sharing this story! I'm so glad that early detection brought us another survivor.

  7. I have already had 2 mammograms and I'm not even 40, but I have a lot of (so far) harmless cysts. I felt silly getting the last one checked out, but it felt different, so I called the doctor. She said, no matter what, get it checked out. This story proves that point - thanks for sharing it!!

  8. Congratulations to Pat for being persistent! It can be easy to believe a doctor if he/she says there is nothing to worry about...after all, isn't that what we all want to hear?

  9. Kim, Thank you for sharing. This is such a fantastic reminder that we need to know ourselves. We have to be our best advocates.

    An amazing story! Thank you.

  10. That is a beautiful story! Every day with our loved ones is a good one.

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