Behind every cloud is a silver lining. – Proverb
My mom is a strong woman. I guess I really never knew that growing up. I mean, I always knew that she had the ability to do what needed to be done in times of difficulty but I never really KNEW her strength. I guess the truth of the matter is, sometimes strength has to be forged through adversity. And while looking back, I would do anything to temper that adversity and take away a time in her life when there seemed to be no silver lining, I can’t help but be overwhelmingly proud of the woman and survivor that emerged from what I know had to be one of the most difficult situations of her life.
What was this situation you ask? Well back when I was pregnant with my oldest son, my mom had an abnormal mammogram. Of course she came to me and told me she was sure it was nothing and not to worry. And I guess I was so wrapped up in pregnancy and getting ready for my first baby, that I didn’t. Until the day came when she called back and with the same don’t worry disclosure, told me that she would be having a double mastectomy. While her don’t worry words were the same, I could hear something in her voice…perhaps it was an acknowledgement, whether known or not, that things very well may not be OK. Or perhaps it was the fear that comes with the unexpected…when in one simple moment your life is changed in ways that you can’t even fathom.
Whatever the emotion she was feeling at that moment, I knew that she must feel incredibly alone. Incredibly scared. And incredibly uncertain about a future that just days before had been carefully plotted and was now swept off course.
Over the next weeks and months there were doctor’s appointments, insurance calls, surgery, complications and thankfully in the end recovery. But through all of it, the waters were uncharted. Yes, we had doctors to offer medical terms but what we needed was hope. And stories of survival. And honest information on what to expect and how to navigate this new reality. Looking back, there were resources but they weren’t resources that connected on a deeper level. I know that would have made my mom feel less alone.
Because while she may have felt alone in her fight, she wasn’t. In truth more than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year. Knowing that a huge number of these people feel alone, just as my mom did, Allstate has made it their mission to help give hope to every woman diagnosed with breast cancer. They are doing this by offering a free Silver Lining Companion Guide that is available to download for free online and it also available for pickup at select Allstate agencies nationwide. This beautifully informative guide is specially designed to help those effected by breast cancer and their families through the experience that has for so long felt all to lonely.
As soon as I heard about the guide, I had to download it. While my mom is thankfully breast cancer free, I wanted to know more about the resources that were available. And as I scrolled through page after page, I felt tears well in my eyes as I remembered the questions, the uncertainty and the empty feeling that accompanied my mom’s journey. I saw terms, questions to ask doctors and above all, I felt hope and support for a disease that all too many women are fighting right this moment. And while there was still pain in the words and pages of the guide, it was balanced with perspective and hope that is so often missing from this battle.
I truly hope that my mom never walks the path of cancer again. And I hope that even with my BRCA1 positive status, I’m able to avoid the pain and the confusion that such a diagnosis brings. But I know without a doubt that whether I personally am effected again or someone I know is, I’ll be sharing the practical tips, important information and inspiration found in the pages of the Silver Lining Companion Guide from Allstate!
And as for my mom? Well, she’s enjoying more birthdays. And she’s proven that the strength of a survivor has only made her more of an inspiration.
I’m beyond thankful that instead of her diagnosis breaking her, it strengthened her into a woman that I am so proud to call my mom. And while there were tough times, times that I wasn’t sure would end up in light, my mom is here. She is stronger. She is a survivor. And she is thriving. She’s seeing her grandchildren grown. Savoring each moment. And living life the to fullest.
She battled bravely and at the end of the day, her silver lining was the ability to continue to live an extraordinary life. One full of joy. Of laughter. And of living cancer free. And that above anything is my wish for every woman!
If you are struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis or know someone who is, please take the time today to download the free Silver Lining Companion Guide from Allstate. This amazing free resource is part of their ongoing efforts to support the well-being of women and is a great way to offer hope during what might be someone’s darkest time.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.