Their fight is my fight: co-surviving cancer with my mom and daughter
The first time I heard the words breast cancer, I was a little girl . It was my mom’s sister. I had no idea what that really meant or of the the impact that these two words would later have in my life.
The first time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer I was terrified. Although her sister had it previously and lived, I was so afraid of what the future held for her. I knew nothing about this disease. My mom's attitude from the very beginning was always that she would beat it and she did. God is good.
Five years later, cancer returned to attack my mom for a second time. Her attitude was just as positive as it was the first time which helped me not to panic about her, but in the back of my mind I worried about myself and I felt that eventually the "Big C" was going to get me also.
I was scared. Silently scared. I watched one of my favorite cousins fight but lose her battle to this disease. "Please God" I would pray, "keep this monster at bay" .
Then several years later, the unthinkable happened. My 26-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Those words "it is breast cancer" knocked the breath out of me. I glanced at my daughter for her reaction to be sure that I heard correctly.
My daughter replied “Are you talking to me? You're kidding right?”
The doctors response was "unfortunately it is cancer."
Her nervous laughter quickly turned into uncontrollable sobs. My mind raced a mile a minute. All kinds of thoughts running through my head.
Is this real I thought? This can't be happening.
I glanced at my son-in-law and he had a look of pure shock in his face. Neither of us believed this would be cancer. Cancer comes with a knot in the breast I thought. The doctors said she's too young. There's no way this discharge from her nipple could be cancer I thought, and yet it was.
I gathered my composure and stood by my daughter's side as she cried. The doctor continued to explain the diagnosis but I was numb.
I heard nothing.
After a few minutes my daughter asked where do we go from here and my journey with my daughter's cancer began.
Watching my daughter fight this disease was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Feelings of guilt overwhelmed me. I felt as if my my daughter was battling an illness that should have been mine. She was young and newly married. They wanted kids. This can't be happening. Over the next few months I made it my business to be by my daughter's side. When she had an appointment WE HAD AN APPOINTMENT. My faith in God grew in ways I never knew possible and I am thankful for that.
Cancer has paid a third visit to my mom and this time it’s metastatic. She's having a hard time understanding that this time she won't beat it but I can guarantee this, she won't go down without one hell of a fight.
Her positive attitude has returned once more. Although she has aged and her body is not as healthy as it was previously. The doctors say she is doing really well. All praises to God for the blessings HE has bestowed on my family.
My daughter had a double mastectomy and is currently two years cancer free. Her husband is a gem. He supported her through all of this and is still her biggest supporter. I am so thankful for the lesson of faith that cancer taught us. It didn't destroy us. It made us stronger.
Meet the Breast cancer Baddie champion
Penney Davis is the daughter of a metavivor and the mother of For the Breast of Us co-founder Jasmine Souers.