A note from our Smarty Breast Cancer Warrior, Jen Pagani
A year’s passed since my last Smarty Blog, and what a year its been. 12 months of sports practices and games, homework, sibling squabble “management” and getting up way too early for school. A year of snuggles on the couch, bedtime stories, birthday parties, real wood fires, holidays and kissing boo-boo’s (although no longer called that and no longer in public, my boys are now 7 and 5, and have their tough guy images to maintain), milestones passed and sweetly savored.
But it’s also been another year of battling advanced, inflammatory breast cancer. Chemo three times every month without fail, without end. A year of soaring highs and and seemingly bottomless lows, the constant stress of trying to juggle being a wife and mom with all the extraordinary pressure of fighting for my life, of actually being able to see my disease spread (sometimes daily) across my chest, back, shoulder and arm. A year with time spent wondering which is worse, dying from the disease or slowly, bit by bit, dying from treatment. A year in which many women (some friends) were diagnosed with breast cancer, treated and blessedly pronounced NED (No Evidence of Disease, the new-ish term for remission). A year where others (wives and moms, some whose children are just babies, and all Smarty Moms lust like us!) continue to battle their ever, rapidly progressing cancers, some who now struggle just to breathe or get out of bed.
So while my lows are real, the threat to my life ever present, I see the lessons this disease teaches and I am humbled, blessed and thankful for them, for they have taught me what is truly important in life. Be thankful for what you have, when you have it. Do not focus on the future or the past but on the now. Love those who love you. Look for and reach out to others in need, many suffer quietly, alone, but seemingly okay looking from afar. Make a difference in your life by making a difference in someone else’s.
Join the GoJenGo Komen Team!
If you want to start making a difference now, please join my Komen Team, Team GoJenGo. You can race, sleep or donate for the Saturday, October 6th event. It is an uplifting, incredible way to start your weekend (and mindset) off right and is a fantastic time and place to show your children the power of making a difference in this world. Komen has changed the face of breast cancer. And largely due to their funding of early detection programs and research for a cure, the breast cancer CURE rate for Stages 1 and 2 is now around 98%!
You can go to the GoJenGo Foundation’s website, www.gojengo.org and click on Events to join directly to our Komen Team. GoJenGo is a local, non-profit that provides financial assistance and support to women and their families who are fighting breast, women who do not qualify for Federal aid, women like us who, while being a single, working parent or just struggling in this economy, found themselves a breast cancer diagnosis away from financial disaster. Our family has been fighting for 5 years now and even with insurance the costs are staggering and the bills never, ever stop.
Be a Super Smarty Mom this fall, make a difference!