Well, fuck- I have breast cancer. After I got “the call” from the doctor and told my husband, I finished getting ready in a fog and we went to tell my parents. News like this is HARD to tell- because you don’t want to hear the words come out of your mouth. It’s unnatural. Even now I hate saying the words. Of course, we want to take one of my parents along to the meeting with the breast specialist, so I ask, and my father said that he’d go- and my mother said she’d go! Parents! My father ended up going.
Whenever getting news like cancer, or anything big, ALWAYS take an extra set of ears along. You may be ready to hear and have lots of questions-but you may not hear or ask everything, because, hey- you’ve just been given devastating news…and it’s okay.
The meeting went well, and I left with a surgery date, an overload of information, a booklet about breast cancer to look over, and anxiety mixed with anger. Most of the people we know, know that my husband and I lost a son to respiratory failure, after being born at 29 weeks, almost 11 years ago- so like, what the fuck? Wasn’t that enough? Guess not! So I said that day: At 35 I lost a child, at 45 I have breast cancer- so at 55 I better win the friggin’ lottery!
At first, I didn’t want to tell anyone. I just couldn’t get my head around the news- I was in disbelief, I was sad, I was nervous, I was EVERY EMOTION. My husband said, “You don’t want to put it out there on Facebook?” I was like- um, NO. But then he said something that changed my mind-“Think of all the support you’ll get. You’re gonna need that from everyone.” God bless my husband! Here’s the original post:
The outpouring of comments, well wishes, etc. was overwhelming, beautiful, and much needed- more than I knew. Then, my private messages started going off like lightning! So many of my friends have been through breast cancer- too many of my friends have been through breast cancer. Each of them told me about their experiences, and gave me advice, asked what steps I had taken so far. It was like a path was made for me to navigate through the unknown area of my life that had just opened up. It was then that I knew: I was meant to tell my story so that others can know that they are not alone, that they will be okay, and that they have support- no matter what. It is my firm philosophy that we’re each put here on Earth to help each other- and now was my time to really start living this.
Fast forward a bit…My surgery was moved up by a week, thanks to my persistent mother (Thanks, Mom!), and all went well. I remember waking up in the recovery room, looking at the clock and thinking, “Cool, I’m still alive- going back to sleep” LOL! Details will follow in another post, but I was, as I am now, well taken care of by my husband, daughter, and wonderful family- and friends who constantly checked up, offered help, and a few who got together and provided us with a wealth of delicious dinners! I am truly blessed.
A few takeaways and advice going forward:
- Getting news like cancer, or anything BIG is totally overwhelming. DO NOT GOOGLE STUFF! There is so much crazy information out there, and you’re already emotionally vulnerable- stick to the information you get from the doctor, and from trusted resources ONLY.
- For Breast Cancer, check out: breastcancer.org, and www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society).
- Don’t be afraid to tell someone, and to ask for help. YOU ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE.
- Don’t panic. I know, it’s easy to say, but don’t. You’ll get through this. You’ll be okay. We’re all here for you.