She’ll have my head if she knows I’m writing this but some stories must be told.
That was how I started this story four years ago but don’t think it was ever published. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to my sister. Not only did they find a lump in her breast but it was also malignant. Visits to Specialists left her with two options; remove the breast, or embark on a series of chemo treatment. The option of removal was an uncommon feat at the time, so after engaging family, friends and mountains of prayers, she made the decision to save the breast and embrace the chemo treatment.
Past The Worst
Over 10 years later and different rounds of chemo treatment combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes such as numbness, weak feelings and more…yet she still kept on fighting. Fighting to survive for her children. Fighting to see them “pass the worse”.
Why I Now Share
I write this not to seek sympathy but to share the innate character of my sister – Carleen, a stalwart! A fighter! A survivor extraordinaire! A teacher by profession, she spent her years in New York, Florida and the Caribbean educational systems molding the youthful minds of countless children. Many were overwhelmed by the genuine care and concern she had shown for her students-many of whom she brought from non-or-minimal performance to the realms of exceeding expectations.
October Is Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer awareness month and for that I choose to celebrate and remember my sister, Elaine AKA Carleen. Yes she passed. 12 years hard battle. She won some. She lost some. But in the end I walk away remembering the fighter that she was. I choose to celebrate the character and personal attributes of someone who has made a difference in the lives of many.
My sister, I love you! I salute you!