I’d like to tell you a little story about the helicopter mom and a beauty queen. A few years ago my son was really, really shy so I decided to sign him up for some theater classes at FMCT. I got him involved in the summer program there, but being a 7 & a half year old who was not yet reading very well and me being a helicopter mom, I typically stayed around at the rehearsals and helped out with whatever I could. I think eventually they might have referred to me as some sort of official backstage helper or something but really I was just being a helicopter mom and attempting to help out where I could.
There was this one little girl with brown hair in pigtails that was in the theater program as well. She is the same age as my son, in fact the birthdays are exactly a week apart, I recall her telling me that she was born on leap day (I love how kids share random facts like this with people.) She was a real sweetheart and every time her mom would bring her in I would think wow that woman looks familiar to me but I just couldn’t put my finger on how I knew her. Having taught community education, photography classes, childbirth education, volunteering and being just otherwise involved in the community I figured I probably knew her from my time at Microsoft or one of my previous activities.
One day the little girl’s younger brother got sick backstage and was throwing up. Of course me being the helicopter mom, until his mom got back there to be with him ran I to get him some Sprite. This is very memorable to me because I think he was probably about 6 years old and he said he had never had soda before. He was actually more anxious about drinking the sugary sweet carbonated beverage than he was about throwing up backstage again.
At some point or another I had asked the little girl who her mom was because I kept thinking that she looked so familiar. Well, the little girl says “oh my mom is a writer” or something to that effect. Then immediately followed with spitfire pride, “but my dad is a basketball coach.” No, this little tidbit of information meant absolutely nothing to me at the time, but it was something she said with great admiration. I’ll go ahead & be honest and admit I’m not really a basketball fan (or any other type of sports if we’re going to get really honest here.)
I didn’t really think much about it, then kids’ mom came and took care of him and I eventually figured out that I’d recognized this woman, this beauty queen, from TV as she had previously been a news anchor. She was an absolutely stunning woman and so genuinely kind to everyone around. I knew right away that I liked her, plus I have to admit that I felt a little star struck having met a real TV celebrity, even if it was a meeting among vomit.
I somewhat kept up with this beauty queen on Facebook and we both regularly attended the same aerial yoga classes. As I got to know her better, I realized that she really was a unique person and just something very special about her. One day at yoga, I had been having a really bad day and needed someone to talk to. Even though I didn’t know her really well beyond our casual encounters at class and theater, I knew that she had a very generous and kind nature and would be someone that I could share my feelings with. I had never done this before, especially with someone that I didn’t know too well, but I pulled her aside and asked her to pray with me which she did without hesitation.
Now it is time for me to say a little prayer for her. Not too long ago the beauty queen announced on her blog that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and next week she will begin her journey in treatment with surgery. I would like to invite you all to pray with me as well just like I had asked her to pray with me. Pray for her healing and comfort, just as she always offers to others through her kindness.
I would also like to bring attention to the fact that it was due to the keen eye of her medical professional when she went in for a yearly exam that they were able to diagnose her early. A close family member of mine was also diagnosed with a breast tumor a couple years ago which fortunately for her only required a lumpectomy and she is now very healthy. That person too had no idea that she had a lump or cancer until after a routine doctor visit.
As women we are often told to do our monthly self-exam but I for one must be honest to say that I am NOT extremely diligent with it. I would like to provide a challenge here for you all that we make an effort to be more proactive. If you notice anything that is suspicious you really shouldn’t be shy and wait until your next scheduled annual exam. See your provider right away and continue to remind your friends, sisters, teachers, mothers, & daughters to do the same.
Let’s be sure that we are doing those monthly self-checks and continue to get those routine exams because it is important not only for ourselves but for our families that we find breast cancer and defeat it early.