He's my one

Saturday, June 15, 2019

When Susan G. Komen reached out to me to help them spread the word about breast cancer, I wanted to be involved.  It's personal.

Did you know that women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8 lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but men can also get breast cancer?

In 2019, 2,670 new cases of male invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and 500 men will die from the disease.

Unfortunately, my dad (Jason) was one of those men.

He is my "one."
On this Father's Day, I want to share my dad with you.
Jason was a brilliant Harvard graduate who started out as a pre-med major and later switched to education.  He taught middle school English for over 40 years. He was funny and fun--crazy and silly and loved the outdoors. He walked for miles every single night. Even in the worst of weather, he walked. He walked in the middle of blinding snowstorms, oblivious to the conditions. He walked until he could no longer.  

In 2010 my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 male breast cancer. It came out of the blue and was a huge shock to my family.  He had complained of having various aches and pains, but refused to go to the doctor. As a matter of fact, he NEVER went to the doctor--he didn't even have a primary care physician! So when he finally asked me to take him to the emergency room, I knew it was serious.  But when the doctor told us that he had stage 4 breast cancer, it was like a bad dream. Where did this come from? How did we miss it? 

Turned out my father had been hiding the cancer from us for years. He discovered a lump, but never mentioned it to anyone. Not even my mom.  In the beginning, he thought the lump would go away. But as it got larger he realized it was cancer. He always believed that the body healed itself. He never took medications and successfully conquered colds, flus and even pneumonia with fresh air, good food and lots of vitamin C. But unfortunately, his cancer needed medical treatment and it was too late by the time he went to the doctor. The cancer had metastasized.
Dad used to put his eyeglass holder in his shirt pocket so we wouldn't notice the lump in his breast.

For three years, he was kept alive with radiation and chemotherapy. He actually had quite a good quality of life doing the things he loved. 
We were blessed that he was able to be at my daughter Alyssa's wedding . He even boogied on the dance-floor!

But in April 1, 2014  the cancer won out and he died peacefully at a hospice center. 

There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of him. Father's Day is especially hard.

It is so important that cancer research is a top priority and that we come up with new and more effective treatments to combat the disease. 

Breast cancer doesn't discriminate. It affects the young, the old, men, and women.  That's why Susan G. Komen is on the frontlines of the fight against breast cancer. I hope you'll visit Susan G. Komen to learn more about their work in advocacy, research, education, and treatment assistance. 

We all have our "one".  The person we want to protect from breast cancer. Who is yours?

Happy Father's Day Dad.

xo Susan

Thank you to Susan G. Komen. for kindly sponsoring this blog.  All opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.

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