Breast Cancer Awareness Month has come and gone, but families and friends continue to come together to support loved ones who have been diagnosed with this horrible disease. Although people gather through fun events like 5k walks and fundraisers, the agony that families face is unbearable.
In August 2015, my mother, Susanna Monteleone, was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she told me and my brother, we knew that our lives would never be the same. My mother kept a brave face through it all even though she wanted to break down.
“I was in tremendous shock and thought the worst,” she said. “It was an awful, helpless feeling.”
Not long after, my mother found out that she needed chemotherapy and radiation to minimize the chances of the cancer coming back. Her only worry through it all was that she needed to be strong for her family.
“My first thought was that my kids and mother needed me and I couldn’t have breast cancer and have to go through chemo,” she admitted.
Her chemotherapy was the hardest part of it all. She said this is when it all became real to her. During this time, she lost her hair and became very physically weak, but somehow kept herself busy.
In December 2015, a wonderful group of people blessed our home for the holidays. Bring Hope Home is a non-profit organization that helps families battling cancer through financial support. Through a one-time grant, they will pay for a family’s essential household bills.
“They gave our family the peace and love that we needed during the holiday season. I will always be grateful for their constant kindness,” my mother said.
Not only did they help us during the holidays, but they continue to offer free tickets to Flyers and Phillies games and always keep us updated on wonderful events they are having for families suffering from breast cancer.
My mother is doing very well today and our family is closer than ever before. We are thankful every day that my mom beat cancer.