That's what killed my mother.
It's very rare, and she had a very rare form of it - carcinosarcoma.
We used to laugh that of course she had something special - she was special - but in actuality the rareness caused problems. There were no studies of similar patients, no known risk factors, no established protocols, no support groups. We winged treatment. For a while, we were winning, but then we weren't.
And then she died.
And just like that, I became one of them: women without mothers. Some of us are mothers without mothers, and some are young women without mothers, and some are women who never ever even had mothers, but all of us feel it. And it hurts.
So when SueMo sent me the email, announcing she was running in the local triad Race for the Cure in honor of her late mother and her late mother, two thoughts went through my head.
The first, I'm embarrassed to say, was one of jealousy, that there's no race I can run for my mother's kind of cancer, that there's nobody even really aware of it, this horrible, awful cancer.
The second one was go, SueMo. Run, baby, run. Because this club, this I Have No Mother club, is a terrible club to join. Do it for your mother and her mother and my mother and all the mothers who didn't even die of cancer. Do it for all the mothers who are still alive, whose children need them.
Know that somewhere in heaven, my mother is nodding as I type this. As always, she has a perfect pedicure - she died with fire engine red polish on her toenails. I like to think her hair has grown back in with its natural wave. And her front tooth that slightly overlaps the other, well, she never thought it perfect but I did, so I like to think when she smiles, you'd still see it.
Anyway, know that on May 5th, she will be cheering you. So will I.
SueMo's Race for the Cure page
More information on the NC Triad Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure