Since becoming a mom all I do during my “downtime” is watch Sex and the City and Law and Order: SVU marathons and by watch I mean have it on in the background while I wash bottles or feed the girls. The other day I was watching Sex and the City and the episode came on where Samantha got diagnosed with breast cancer. It took me by surprise, but I started bawling. You see when I got diagnosed I clammed up and went into a dark, self protected shell. I didn’t post it on facebook and I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone. That was how I coped. I didn’t understand how this could happen to me. I was 34 years old and, at the time, one of the cleanest eaters around. I took care of myself. I exercised daily, I stopped eating meat, and I would drink over a gallon of water a day. So how in the world did cancer invade my body? MY body. I put on a brave front and hid myself in my office. My Pursona website never looked so good! Ha! After cancer claimed my boobs and I lived thru the surgery (Yes I thought I was going to die. I even wrote everyone letters. LOL) I started to somewhat heal. My first question after I woke up from surgery, surrounded by my husband, parents, and brother, was “did they get it?” I’ll never forget that moment. Even as I type this I cannot hold back tears. It’s something that if I think about I cannot control my emotions. I never really talk about it. Like ever. So when I saw that episode and tears wouldn’t stop flowing I decided maybe it was time to talk about it. Maybe keeping it all to myself wasn’t helping me at all. So many people are affected by this nasty disease. I say people because cancer doesn’t only affect the infected it affects everyone who cares for this person.
What people don’t realize is that after you’ve been through such a life changing experience is just because you don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it isn’t always there. Ever since that day that I heard the words “it’s not good” I always think someone I love is going to die. It’s so weird and I wish it would get out of my head. I used to stare at John, in the middle of the night, and make sure he was breathing. I still live in fear that death will claim someone I love. I know it someday will, but I am not ready. No one ever is and just wish I wasn’t so morbid. Hell, after receiving the news I got in my car and the song playing on the radio was Keisha’s “We’re going to die young”. People I’m Catholic. I took that as a sign. Ha! I still fear that because I had cancer once I will get it again. Now I have girls. GIRLS. I will forever fear the worst. My hope, like any mother, is that if cancer is to enter our lives again that it will happen to me and not to them.
After 2 years I feel like I needed to get it off my chest. Maybe my story will help someone else. Help them realize that there is life after cancer. In a weird way cancer was a blessing. It never made me want kids more than the moment I found out I had it. She said “you have cancer” and I said “can I have kids?” It’s funny how that works. Now I look at my double blessings and know that I was lucky. Lucky it didn’t claim my life this time and lucky, that as of now, I’m one of the survivors. Most of all lucky to have had the support system that I did and do. My friends and family were and are amazing. THEY are what got me through that dark time. The time when I would be blow drying my hair and just start crying. I look at pictures of before I knew I had cancer, but had cancer, and say I had cancer then. It’s truly a mind game.
I don’t have any pictures from that time because I wouldn’t allow any. I do wish I did, but at the time my life stopped. John did take a few after I woke up from surgery and one where I was on my spin bike with my drains tucked in my shirt. Sometimes the memory of it all is much more vivid than the actual picture.
Tonight hug your loved ones a little tighter and promise yourself you won’t live in fear. Promise that you will LIVE your life to the fulliest. Because life is a gift. A precious, precious gift from God. God bless you all. Much love.