The conversation, as told by my mother, went something like this:
Dawn: They said I have fibroids... something about being caused by too much caffeine... but feel this one... it's been growing really fast...
My Mom (feeling Dawn's breast as directed by Dawn): Dawn! Oh my god! You need to get that checked out right away!
That was five days ago.
Yesterday, my mom telephoned to tell me this story and to let me know that Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has a fast-growing, aggressive tumor. They will operate in two weeks to get further information and to see if it has gotten into her lymph nodes. The prognosis is unclear.
And it can happen. Just. Like. That.
Dawn is 33 years old (just three years older than me), a mother to an almost-two-year-old boy, and engaged to be married. At 33, she's never had a mammogram. They say start when you're 40, right?
I felt as though my mom was delivering news about my best friend, or an aunt or a grandma, the way the news crawled into my heart and has remained nestled there. I felt the lump in my throat and a rush of emotions that are normally reserved for those closest to me. Dawn works with my mom, has become a friend (closer to me than an acquaintance), and is just working at raising her little boy the best she can.
And now this.
If you are wearing your pink ribbon this month for no one in particular, but for everyone in general, maybe you can wear it for Dawn.
Just thought I'd ask.