Pink Cart's blog


My mom's story is not a success with life, but a success with the legacy that she left behind. Mom grew up in a small town, learning the values of family, hard work, and dedication. She was one of two girls. At an early age, she lost her mom to breast cancer and later in life, lost her sister to the disease. I will never forget the day in 1991 when Mom was first diagnosed. Ovarian cancer. She battled and won this round after a hysterectomy and treatment. Then in 2007, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy and more treatment, she conquered this round.


My strength and courage, came from my Mom.
I’ll never forget that fateful day.
When my sister, Mom and me heard the doctor said, we have bad news, the tests are in.
I suddenly lost my happy grin. My beautiful Mom had breast cancer.

They said don’t fret, but to no avail
We will get through this..we will not fail
There is no choice, we must stand tall
And beat this thing, once and for all.


I am writing this story about myself. :)  I am a single mom of three awesome kids.  When I had just turned 34, and my children, Jake, who is autistic was just turning 4, Elle had just turned 2, and Tyler was 8 months old, I was diagnosed with Stage 3, HER2 and estrogen positive breast cancer with lymph node involvement.  My husband was still with me, but went into denial about my cancer.


On December 14, 2011, my life shattered. I lost my mom from a long hard battle with breast cancer. It started in 1998 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was about 12 around at the time. My mom underwent chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant. She was in remission for 13 years when it came back in her other breast again as Stage 4. At that time it had spread into her bones and from there into her liver and, in the end, her brain. My mom is my hero. She fought so hard in this long battle and she never forgot to smile. I became my Mom's caretaker.


It's the first day of May and it finally feels like spring here in The Pink Cart's hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.The sun is out, grass is growing, trees are budding and all the neighbors are out tending to their gardens. People are planting their seeds and making plans for the beautiful flowers, herbs, vegetables and shrubs that will come to life later in the Summer.


My story started in 1996 when I was 34 years old. My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I asked my doctor to please order mammograms for me since my mother had ductal carcinoma in situ. Every year I had a mammogram whether I had to pay for it or not. In January 2004 when I had just turned 40 and bought my first house 90 miles away from my doctor, I went for one last mammogram in my hometown.


In March of 2010 I signed up for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in Washington, D.C.  The walk itself was 60 miles over 3 days, but the journey to get there was 7 months long, and completely changed my life.

One in eight women get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.  And although my family - so far - was safe, as the mother of a teenage daughter, those odds were unacceptable.  I was walking for all the mothers, the daughters, the sisters, and the friends who were the one in eight.  And I was walking so that my daughter would not be.


It's a new year!  This has been my motto the past several years.  I had a heart attack at age 41, a massive pulmonary embolism in both lungs at 43 ... and was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer ... at age 45.  My diagnosis followed the recent deaths of my sister and my mother.  I was definitely looking for something positive to happen, not breast cancer.


The Pink Cart is snowed in today thanks to the blizzard that has already passed over much of the midwest. After all the shoveling we did this morning, we found ourselves with not much to do except bundle up and stay warm. Then we started thinking...wait a minute! There's a lot we, and YOU, can do to support The Pink Cart on your snow day.


We hear so many stories of women and men who are fighting or have survived breast cancer, we hear stories of rare cases of the disease, people beating unbelievable odds, and sadly people who lose the battle. Out of the hundreds and thousands of stories we hear, they all have one thing in common - they already have the disease. The fight against breast cancer aims to improve treatments, increase cases of early detection, and ultimately find a cure and its long-term goal is to create a world without breast cancer.


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