Breast cancer reaches so many lives. Estimates show that by the end of 2012 in the U.S. alone, close to a quarter of a million new cases of invasive breast cancer (there are other types) in women will have been diagnosed.
That number means almost nothing, until it reaches you or someone you know.
I know too many women who have received the diagnosis – a fellow teacher, a neighbor, a friend, an aunt, my husband’s grandmother, my mother-in-law. And my mom. She’s a fourteen-year (this month), two-time breast cancer survivor.
I’ll never forget the day my mom first told my sister and me that her mammogram indicated a lump and doctors confirmed it was breast cancer. It felt like the world came to a screeching halt when those two words slipped off my mom’s tongue and into the air. My sister and I were so afraid of the possible outcome. I can only imagine how scared my mom must have been. And then she had to experience it all over again last year, when she heard the diagnosis for a second time.
Fortunately, my mom regularly had routine mammograms performed, so doctors found the lumps early on both occasions. Because of that, my mom underwent lumpectomies and radiation treatment and was able to avoid chemotherapy.
Thirteen years ago, my mom, my sister, and I walked in our first Race for the Cure, to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. We know, first hand, the importance of early detection. Without mammograms, my mom might not be here today.
I know my young children don’t understand the real reason we walked in the race. To them it was an experience in walking too closely to a bunch of jubilously crazy people dressed in pink boas and pink wigs, down the center of a crowded city street they don’t otherwise get to walk down, in the cold autumn air. Oh, and to meet a character from one of their favorite movies, who they might possibly deem a hero simply because he’s in one of their favorite movies.
As some of the “bad guys”, Stormtroopers aren’t exactly my idea of heroes. But if they could forever wipe out an enemy like breast cancer from the face of Planet Earth, they just might be.
Someday, my kids will understand why we race. I only hope they don’t have to understand it first-hand.
After all, isn’t that really why we race?
Yours in pie (and in the race),
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the pink ribbon is the international symbol, I wanted to incorporate a pink ribbon into my pie-baking this week. I decided on Rhubarb Cream Pie from Two Chicks from the Sticks: Back Home Baking since the rhubarb would show up pink. When I rolled out the top crust, I used a knife to carefully carve out a ribbon shape and then carefully adjusted the top crust onto the filling. I’m not very artsy, but I think it turned out looking like a pink ribbon, and the pie tasted great!
Rhubarb Cream Pie
Pastry dough for a two-crust 9-inch pie
1 ¾ c. sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ c. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
4 c. rhubarb, diced (if using frozen, defrost and lightly drain off excess liquid)
1 T. butter
Line pie plate with bottom crust.
To prepare filling, combine sugar, eggs, flour, nutmeg, and rhubarb in a bowl. Pour mixture into prepared pie plate. Dot filling with small pieces of the butter.
Adjust top crust, seal and crimp edges. Cut slits to allow steam to escape. Cover edges with foil to prevent overbrowning. Bake pie at 400° for 15 minutes, then lower oven temp. to 350° and bake for another 45 to 55 minutes or until filling is bubbly in center. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.