How can one day go so very wrong? One minute Meara Quinn is making plans for how she will spend the Summer before her senior year and the next she’s finding out that her mother’s cancer has returned and they are moving away from the only home she’s ever known.
NOT SURE IF YOU WANT TO READ NEVER FORGOTTEN?
A NOTE FROM KELLY RISSER:
10% of July’s profits for Never Forgotten and Current Impressions will be donated to Susan G. Komen.
Never Forgotten is a fantasy novel, but it deals with a very real issue. Early in the story, Meara learns that her mother’s cancer has returned. While I’d rather tell you that I didn’t draw inspiration from personal experiences, the truth is, I did. Shortly before my husband and I got married, my mother-in-law (MIL) was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was hard to watch her fight for her life. Her hair fell out, and she became so thin. I remember hugging her and feeling every bone in her back. It was the first time I’d seen a human body in such a fragile state.My MIL had an amazingly positive outlook. She lived to find joyous moments in the ordinary. She kept a journal, traveled, and visited with friends. The cancer went into remission. Unfortunately, it returned five years later, this time in her abdomen and surrounding organs. With a diagnosis of six months to two years, she passed away within two months, just shy of her 60th birthday. Her name was Sharon.
Yes, Meara’s mom is named after her. It’s one small way for me to keep her memory alive. The other way I want to do this requires your help. We all know the statistics about breast cancer, but I want to stress the important role you play in your health. The year prior to her first diagnosis, my MIL had a mammogram and a spot showed in the screening. Her doctor told her it was small, probably nothing. He would follow up in twelve months. She took his word and waited. When she went in for the second mammogram, it had grown tremendously. A biopsy proved it was cancer. Had she pushed for a biopsy right away, she might still be here today. With a year to grow, the cancer moved into too many of her lymph nodes.
My message to women is this—if you are a man, please share this message with the women close to you: do regular self-exams, starting now. You’re never too young or too old. If you’re 40 years old or have a family history of cancer, get regular mammograms. Don’t be afraid to push for your health. If something doesn’t sound right or you have questions, speak up! Yes, doctors are professionals, but they’re human, too. We all make mistakes. Last, support cancer research. It will only be through research that we will ever find answers to fight this disease that takes so many.
ABOUT KELLY RISSER:
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