I am going to be honest, this month hasn’t been the easiest for me. My mother, Oris Deloris Gilliams, died from breast cancer March 28, 2012, 9:19 p.m. . It was a Wednesday night. My sisters and I watched “MA” take her last breath. It was a moment I will never forget. My life changed forever in just one moment.

I was 32 years-old and never did I imagine that I would live my life without my mother.

The reality set in immediately. On my wedding day she wouldn’t be able to attend. What about when I have my first child, my mother won’t be here to help me? I was so mad at GOD and life altogether. I didn’t want to live. I just couldn’t find anything that would make me happy anymore. She was the true love of my life. She was my biggest fan.

There’s something about a mother’s love that is irreplaceable. Not sure if I will ever have a bond with another human being the way I did with my mother. I imagine when I have kids one day I will hopefully love another the way I loved my mother…I can only imagine.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s been a difficult month for me to say the least. Up until today I really did not want to participate in any of the many Breast Cancer Awareness activities because to be quite honest, it’s still difficult accepting the fact that my mother has passed away.

Although it’s still painful and difficult I have decided to have a change of heart. After having a conversation with Ryan and Jean Ross I have been inspired to use this month not as one in which I am feeling sorry for myself but instead as a way to keep my mother’s memory alive.

My mother was too afraid to tell me and my sisters that she had breast cancer early on. I am not sure if she would have told us in the beginning when she found out if she would still be alive today. I will never know the answer to that; but I do know that the sooner you find out the chances of you beating it are tremendously higher.

I have heard that mammograms can be quite painful, but do you know what’s more painful? Not being alive to watch your children grow up, or not being alive long enough to get married.

I have never had a mammogram before but I have decided that it is time. Breast cancer took my mother’s life but I won’t let it take mine – EVER. That means that I have to make sure I know my status, and because I have a history with breast cancer in my family I have to get checked frequently.

I know my mother would want me to encourage other women to do the same. It’s important to know your status so you can be alive to fulfill your GOD given destiny. My mother fought as long as she could to stay alive with my sisters and I. She truly wanted to live. So this month, in memory of my mother, I encourage you to make sure you get tested. Let’s make the commitment together.


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