October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and guest blogger Dee Dee Parker graciously accepted my invitation to write a tribute to her daughter Brooke. Brooke touched many lives during her long breast cancer battle and Dee Dee tells her story beautifully.

Photo Courtesy of Dee Dee Parker

Brooke Walker

Along with the beautiful hued leaves of bright crimson, butterscotch, and chestnut, October brings on its crisp air, a flurry of pink. Magazines are full of heart-warming stories of cancer survivors. Shops along village and city streets are displaying merchandise adorned with the familiar pink ribbon.

It is breast cancer awareness month.

My introduction to breast cancer came while I sat rocking on my farmhouse porch enjoying a glass of sweet tea.

The phone rang—“Mom, I’m at the hospital and was just told I have breast cancer. I am having a biopsy in a few minutes.”

My world turned upside down as my thirty-four year old daughter, Brooke, went on to say that the technician said her films and scans showed an extremely large mass.

Brooke was alone. I was terrified.

A few days before, Brooke had discovered a lump in her breast while showering. She went to the doctor and was told it was nothing to be alarmed about, but would be sent for tests to put her worry at ease. She also had experienced leg pain and had been put into strenuous physical therapy. It was a true miracle that none of her weakened bones had broken.

After the biopsy, my husband and I, along with her husband, Trey, met at the oncologist’s office to get the results. It was the worst-case scenario—stage four with metastases throughout her body. Her full-body scan looked like a Christmas tree lit with strings of bright lights. The tumors were in most of her bones and some of the organs.

Brooke was given less than six months to live.