Personal Story How October Became a Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Me

Posted by Anastasia Dekantios on

On a beautiful spring morning of 2015 I got a call from my mother saying she was on her way to the hospital with what she said “sudden bloating”. Knowing my mom and her very high pain tolerance I immediately realized that the current situation was understated as not to worry me. My first thought was frightening - did her breast cancer return? As we found out the next day, it sure did. But now it was stage IV metastatic breast cancer that spread into her liver which was failing. And hence her stomach blew up with fluids to the size of someone pregnant with multiples. We were told that she has a few weeks left to live.

Mom and us

Miraculously though, due to the expertise of the wonderful doctors at the Overlook Hospital, achievements of science, many-many charities that helped us along the way, and my mom’s very endless optimism, she lasted almost 2 years. Two years of very good quality life: she painted, drew, played with her grandchildren, visited art galleries, museums, zoos, saw “the Nutcracker” ballet she always dreamed of seeing, even went to the pool! But most of all she was an still is an inspiration for many as her positive outlook, faith that things will improve and ability to enjoy every moment of her life it was constant and contagious to everyone around her, from family and friends to volunteers and medical staff.  Last 4 months of her life she was on home hospice, where my teenage brother, my kids and I took care of her. And I got to hold her hand as she took her last breath at the age of 50 on February 20th, 2017.

Now that wonderful gift of extra two years with my mother wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the medical help as well as the help of many friends, volunteers and charity organizations. One of such programs that we were referred to was Pathways Cooks and The Connection in Summit. They cooked and delivered very healthy weekly meals for the whole family. They also provided some financial assistance with covering piling up bills. And we cannot thank them enough for this very timely and generous help!

This year’s breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to give back to the Pathways Women’s Cancer Support and help other women and their families in need. Recently I started a business that designs and sells temporary tattoos. In the memory of my mom Tatiana Mirina, I would like to donate the profits to the Pathways.

100% profits from the sales of the Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon will go to Pathways.

Additionally, 50% of the profits from any designs during the month of October will be donated to Pathways as well.

The purchases can be completed on

The Connection (70 Maple Street, Summit, NJ 07901) will be also holding a sale of the temporary tattoos on Wednesday, October 17th 3pm to 6 pm and 100% of the profits from that sale will go to Pathways Women’s Cancer Support.

If you would like to donate directly to Pathways you can do so by following this link. Under campaign, please select Pathways Women’s Cancer Support.

I love you Mom


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