The Lessons Learned From My Mother


My mother was diagnosed with a locally advanced, triple negative breast cancer 4 years ago. As a 76 year woman, with end stage kidney disease, on peritoneal dialysis, the options for chemotherapy were very limited. The one chemotherapy drug she was able to receive, worked! There was no evidence of cancer seen in her breast after it was removed. We were over the moon excited.

My mom and I had the same type of breast cancer, triple negative. It is a very aggressive type of breast cancer so, I was always worried about her cancer coming back. After she crossed her four-year cancer free anniversary this past January, I was looking forward to the day where I could say she was five years cancer free.   The chances of breast cancer coming back after 5 years in a triple negative breast cancer patient are very small. Never once did it cross my mind that she might not see that day because of something other than cancer. Last week my mother lost her life due to complications of her kidney disease.

God knows what we need before we do. He puts things in place without us even asking. My parents came to live with me about a year and a half ago. I brought them here to take care of them, but about one month after their arrival, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My parents ended up taking care of me as I went through my double mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments.   My mommy was here to support me during the most difficult health and financial crisis of my life. And I was here to support her as she went through her illness, which ultimately took her life. I realize now, that have been focused too much on the cancer coming back, instead of enjoying life in the present. I have learned many things in dealing with my mother’s illness  this year. The most important things are:

Live every day like its your last. Tomorrow is not promised.

Cherish your family. If you take care of them, they will take care of you.

Watch and Pray.

Don’t pray then worry.

Not everyone dies of cancer  – Many people live with cancer but die of other things.

The last one is the most important one. Just because you have cancer, doesn’t mean you will die of cancer. There is life after cancer, focus on living that life to the fullest. Not the cancer.


beauty_secret:  There is life after cancer. Go live it


Beautifully Yours - Dr Tonya Cole




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