Pink Month: remembering mothers with cancer.

Yesterday I had the honour of attending a Breast Cancer Fundraising Luncheon. This is an annual event organised by my darling next door neighbour and her daughter, who spend countless hours campaigning, organising and baking for this special occasion. Each year, they are successful in raising thousands of dollars for the very valuable cause.

Afternoon tea is an absolute delight

It is so special to be at an event with a range of women from all walks of life.  Most of whom have experienced breast cancer personally or through a friend or relative. It is always lovely to catch up with women from the neighbourhood, and also with women who don’t live so close. For some of us, it is the one day in the year we actually catch up with one another.

The settings are lovely: Which seat would you take up?

Since becoming a mother, attending this event has become even more meaningful to me. Having my daughter by my side has also become highly significant. You see, I have this regular thought (fear) which wrenches at my heart: the thought of getting ill and leaving my daughter without a mother. I’m sure this is not an uncommon thought for a mother.

I listen to stories of breast cancer, and I am reminded of how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away. So, I have made a personal pledge that each year my daughter and I attend this luncheon, we must celebrate another precious year together.

2010: Another year to treasure together

I am not alone. I am not the only mother in the world. I was surrounded by mothers at the luncheon yesterday. Women, like me, who have children. None of us are immune to breast cancer. According to the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, breast cancer and lung cancer are the two leading causes of cancer-related death in Australian women (Breast Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2009). When a mother dies of breast cancer she leaves behind a child. It is a fear for me, but it is a reality for so many Australian women.

I think there is absolutely nothing sadder or more unjust in life than a child losing his mother. I have taught many children who have lost their mothers to breast cancer, and they are amongst the bravest little big people I know. I have so much admiration for them.

I can only hope that I am not faced with this particular challenge in life. I’m not sure how I would handle the situation if I ever am.  I have so much respect for mothers who fight the personal battle with cancer and who also find the strength to comfort and support their children at the same time.

As we know, each family copes in their own way. Many families use books to help explain the situation to their children. There are also many women and children who find that writing their own stories becomes a way of coping. To recognise ‘Pink Month’, I thought I’d put together a list of picture books written to help families discuss cancer.

Pink Month: remembering mothers with cancer.

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