I was a junior in high school when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time she was diagnosed, she had a stage four tumor, meaning that the cancer had already spread into her lymph nodes. Determined to beat the grim disease, she underwent treatment which included chemotherapy and radiation. Following that, she went into remission for approximately one year. That was to be her only time of remission as her cancer returned, this time in her bones.
Over the next few years, she continued treatment with a strong determination to overcome the odds that were beginning to stack against her. The cancer continued to overtake her, metastasizing into her stomach, liver and finally into her lungs. She passed away December 9, 2005 with all the courage, grace, and dignity that carried her through five difficult years.