These are the moments you live for. The moments that Kodak never had enough film to capture. The moments you dream of when you are sleeping and envision when you are awake.
Terry Crawley’s first grandchild turns a month old today. She and her husband, Oliver, light up when they talk about their grandson. To say these are great times is an understatement. To say they are grateful is also an understatement.
They are more aware than most that this precious time was not guaranteed.
Terry was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She had discomfort in her breast. A tenderness that had not been there before. Wanting to be proactive, she had a mammogram. Nothing. The tenderness persisted and so did Terry. Another mammogram. Nothing. But something was wrong. Finally, at Terry’s request, an ultrasound revealed that the previous “nothing” was indeed something. Cancer.
Radiation wasn’t an option because the location of the cancer was so close to Terry’s heart—too close. But, then that is the way with cancer. It always strikes too close to the heart.
So, she had four rounds of chemotherapy, sent her youngest child off to his Freshman year of college, and then had a mastectomy.
Cancer was behind her.
With cancer in the rearview mirror, Terry continued living. Watching her children grow into adults. Life moved on. Graduations, weddings, the highs and lows of life continued.
Almost 10 years to the day of her first diagnosis, Terry felt that same familiar and unsettling tenderness, this time in her other breast. Stage 2, triple negative breast cancer, with lymph node involvement. Somehow the second breast cancer diagnosis seemed to hit harder than the first. Terry and her oncologist, Dr. Mark Graham, worked to put a “game plan” together. Cancer isn’t a game, but having a plan of attack makes the course seem more manageable.
Terry remembers watching Coach Yow, inspired by her ability to continue living, coaching her team, while engaging in a battle against, what Coach Yow herself referred to as, the “toughest foe of all—cancer.”
But, like Coach Yow, Terry continued to live. One day at a time. Each milestone. Each memory. Each moment—giving hope to others who witnessed her battle.
Giving hope. What a tough thing to do. How does one person give hope to another? It seems the answer is somewhere in the fabric of continuing.
Continuing to coach. Continuing to live. Continuing for the chance to impact others. Continuing for the chance to meet grandchildren.
To donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, click here.