Hawk Racing’s Personal Journey with Breast Cancer
This month brings us a very special blog for us here at Hawk Racing. In the United States, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This past year, the reality of breast cancer became very personal for us as a company. Cindy Parlin, one of our owners, has spent the past year fighting her battle with breast cancer. It has been a very difficult journey for her personally and us as a company. It has meant pain, struggle, and sacrifice for everyone involved. We are so excited to announce that she has won her battle. However, we know that there are many women out there every day fighting this battle as well.
Throughout the month of October, we will be donating a portion of the sale of every bottom bracket to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For every bottom bracket sold in October, we will be donating $2 to the foundation. In addition, we will be donating $5 from the sale of every pink English Threaded bottom bracket. You can also donate to the campaign directly by visiting the campaign page here.
For this month’s blog, Cindy decided that it was time to open up about her story and her journey. We hope that it will provide inspiration and hope to someone.
I am Cindy Parlin, owner and manager for Hawk Racing Premier Cycling Components. My breast cancer journey began with my annual exam on October 2, 2018.
On October 2, 2018, after my Mammogram and 3D Imaging, I was told that I needed a needle biopsy. I was scheduled for Friday and sent on my way. I was caught completely of guard. There was no lump or tenderness, nothing to indicate a problem. I calmly walked to my car, where I sat for a good 10 minutes crying. I collected myself with reassuring words, called my husband Eric and headed back to the office. The results came in on the 10th. The clinic physician told me that there were precancerous cell and that we should just monitor the area closely.
My primary doctor called me at home that same night after getting the result and reading the recommendation. She was not happy with the wait and see method. She referred me to an oncologist who specializes in breast cancer. I was scheduled in to see her by the end of October. She had reviewed the images and biopsy findings and felt there was an under sampling.
Right before Thanksgiving on November 19th I had a partial mastectomy. That was the longest week of my life waiting for the results. Eric and I went in for the result the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. The oncologist informed us I had Lobular Carcinoma, estrogen driven breast cancer. In less than a minute my world was forever altered.
I had a full mastectomy and removal of multiple lymph nodes on December 19th, right before Christmas. Once again left waiting for test results over a holiday. This time the results were positive. The cancer had not gotten to my lymphatic system and the surgery was able to remove all the cancerous cells. That meant no chemotherapy or radiation, only having to take an estrogen blocker for the next 5 years. It was the best of a bad situation.
I was out of work for a month and on limited hours right up to April 4th when I had my reconstruction surgery. I missed another month of work and again worked limited hours until July 11th. That is when I had, yet another surgery to remove my ovaries and fallopian tubes. This was one additional precaution to lower my estrogen. Thank God, no cancer was found. I missed the rest of the month of July recovering. Even though I have been released from PT and all of my doctors I still struggle with fatigue.
You are so rushed from one appointment to another, your head is spinning. You don’t hear nor fully understand everything that is happening. You defer to the professionals and focus on surviving. You don’t think about how life will be when you make it through. Take a third party with you so they can hear more clearly and take notes so you can refer back to them later. Allow yourself to process before moving on to the next procedure.
There are so many things you don’t think about or ever hear about. How you feel guilty. Guilty about taking so much time and effort that friends and family have to put into helping. Guilty about having to take time to heal. Feeling unworthy of services and support because your cancer isn’t “as bad” as someone else’s. The feelings of loss. Of being ashamed and embarrassed of your body. Feeling like your life will never be the same.
The truth is your life will never be the same. You have had a part of your body amputated and no matter how skilled the plastic surgeon is, they will never recreate what God made. Coming to that realization is not easy, but necessary to move on.
This journey hasn’t been all bad. It has made me reevaluate what is important in life. It has brought me closer to Eric, family and friends. My prayer life and relationship with God has grown. It made me realize that needing help does not make me weak and that I am stronger than I ever imagined.
Every day, many women are walking this same journey and struggling with the same things. Myself and the team at Hawk Racing want to do everything we can to help other women who are faced with this journey. So, please consider helping us fund breast cancer research by either purchasing a bottom bracket or donating to our Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.