All month I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about Breast Cancer Awareness for October and having just shared about Human Trafficking. I wanted to find a way to make it fit within Staci & Co’s mission of sharing our life – just like with the walk.
So when Rich told me he volunteered for his school’s Breast Cancer fundraiser it was perfect. So now we’re baking up a storm for the school’s bake sale.
Originally, Rich wanted to do a variety of pink themed desserts. I found a strawberry chocolate chip cookie recipe, ordered the cake mix necessary (not available in UK, so thanks Amazon) and then the box came…turns out I ordered 4 boxes!!! So a variety became a LOT of cookies.
Baking Cookies for a Cause
The original recipe can be found at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Our cookies didn’t turn out as bright pink as I thought from the original photo but the soft pink is a nice touch and they taste delicious. Using strawberry cake mix to get the pink was such a good idea and made it easier to bake over 5 dozen cookies on a Thursday night late after work. Hence why we’re wearing pyjamas already ha!
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Breast Cancer Awareness Month
So enough about food. As I think everyone knows now, October is breast cancer awareness month. It’s the month of pink.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Every 2 minutes someone is diagnosed and every 13 minutes, 1 woman will die of breast cancer. There are over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
Chances are someone in your life has to had breast cancer. And if you don’t, well consider yourself lucky. I can think of at least four survivors off the top of my head. Most importantly – my Mom.
I was in high school when my Mom was diagnosed, I was learning to drive at the time. I had wanted to stay home from school the day my Mom went into surgery, but my Dad insisted it would be a long day sitting in the waiting room and I should go to school to keep my mind off of things.
After school my oldest sister came to pick me up, we drove to the hospital, and we sat in the waiting room. My grandmother in one corner saying her rosary, only pausing briefly to ask how my day was. My dad sitting across from her, studying his Sudoku book but not actually writing. Neither of my sisters talking. No one was talking – so I pulled out my homework and got to work. My grandfather sat next to me and asked about my chemistry homework and we did equations together.
The doctor came in spoke to my dad who followed him out, then my grandmother and then the rest of us followed. I don’t remember much more about the immediate days after.
What I do remember is late one night, sitting in a big love seat tucked in the corner of my room, reading my book, I saw my door open. I thought I was busted – yet again – for staying up to read when I said I was going to bed because I had school. But that didn’t happen.
Instead my Mom walked straight across the room, crawled into the big purple chair next to me and after a silence, she started to cry. It was the first time I’d seen my Mom brake down and it was the first time we’d actually talked about her cancer. And it’s a conversation I’ll never forget, sitting in the dark apart from one little reading lamp, under a Green Bay Packers blankets.
This September my Mom celebrated her 8 years cancer free.
So although October is the month of pink, and the official month of breast cancer awareness, it’s more than just one month – it’s everyday. It’s every time I see my tattoo in the mirror encouraging hope. It’s every time I put Kendall’s breast cancer collar on her for a walk. It’s my inability to walk past a charity raising money. It’s my drawers full of fundraiser t-shirts and charity sporting events. It’s my Save the Tatas water bottle on my desk. It’s my husband coming home saying ‘I volunteered for the schools breast cancer awareness day for your Mom.’