Mommy Survivor Blog

Cancer: If it happened to me, it could happen to you

Quote: Finally, just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. – Anonymous.

My journey with cancer began not with me, but with my mother

Left to right: Me, My daughter Madison & Mom

I’m Kerri Conner. It was April of 1998. I had just graduated from Howard University and I was studying to become a CPA so I could work side by side with my mother in her accounting firm (Anita T. Conner & Associates, P.C. – Home of the Tax Divas) (www.atconnercpa.com).

This particular April was no different from any other. We were swamped doing tax returns trying to make the April 15th deadline.  As an accountant, I quickly learned that everything had to be put on hold until after the tax deadline and that life as I knew it would resume the day after.

Little did I know, was that this April 16, 1998 my life would be changed forever. It was on this day, that my family and I learned that my mother, who was only 41 years old, had an advanced stage of breast cancer.

I was 23 years old, I did not know ANYTHING about breast cancer. I did not know ANYONE who had the disease, and I had no idea what to expect. What I did know was that my family was devastated and this could not be good.

The ironic thing about my mom’s situation was that she had felt a lump in her left breast for years. She did tell the doctors about the lump and the discomfort it caused, but they all said the same thing….She was too young for it to be breast cancer. It was not until she was going in for a routine procedure that the doctor said “Let’s do a biopsy…you are here…and it can’t hurt.

By the time, the cancer was detected, my mother had a high stage three cancer, and it had begun to spread to her lymph nodes. My mother’s routine procedure turned into a total hysterectomy and a radical mastectomy.

I will never forget that day.  It was the longest surgery ever. My family took shifts coming to the hospital and sitting with me. When the doctor came out to give us a status…he took my father and I to a little room…it was here he told us to pray for a miracle. He told us the cancer had spread and it did not look good. My mother’s doctor was preparing us for the worse.

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