Thursday, July 31, 2008

Middle of the night musings

Stuck in my head is something that my brother said today. He told me it's important that many women survive breast cancer and that should be lauded. But he also explained that too many people hold this "badge" so close that it becomes what defines them. Yes, it's a victory but it's a personal victory. Not a pink bracelet, pink ribbon victory.

This is hard to explain. My brother often sends me off into these deep thinking exercises. I'm exploring how I feel about everything from my carpet to my cats right now so I imagine it's quite normal to look at everything differently after getting a breast cancer diagnosis.

Back to my brother. His explanation was that it's almost like breast cancer patients join a club. And that's not always good for everyone. He stressed repeatedly that individuality gets lost and I totally agree. I hope anyone that reads this doesn't get offended by these nighttime mutterings. I'm collecting my thoughts.

In any event, I think I'm tired now. We told our middle child (she's 11) the news tonight. She handled it well, with grace and good questions. She's a strong child, has a ton of faith and will see this through with me. I just don't want her to stop being a kid. She's a tweenie, finding her voice and style, and I sincerely don't want to cramp or interfere in this special growing stage in her life.

Going to sleep. God Bless any and all who've faced the big C.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today is the first full day after my diagnosis with breast cancer. We went through mass hysteria last night. Crying, stopping, crying again - and I woke up to my husband's tears this morning.

That 7 o'clock call last night from my doctor rocked our world. My biopsy and lumpectomy last week had resulted in the very thing we all feared to most. I'm 40, just 40 years old. My youngest is 3. I couldn't get past that last night. I looked at my gardens and realized I might not see them bloom next year. My baby planted her first zinnia seeds this year and she's so proud. Would I see her plant them and puff up with pride next year?

Faith is a tissue-paper like thing at times like this. I felt mine was rock solid until yesterday. I know different now. I asked God last night "why me? why my babies? why can't I have another baby? why now?" I wanted to give my husband just one more child, hoping against hope for a boy. That hope is gone now. But my faith is back tenfold with the love and faith of my family and dear friends.

I think many of us hear breast cancer stories and quietly say to ourselves, "thank God it's not me." I know I did. My mother had it and survived (5 years in October 2008). The big C hit me smack in the face last night. What I've come to realize just in one day is that no matter what anyone says, no matter what stories they tell of breast cancer survivors, I am ME and my breast cancer fight is individual and unique. I'm not like anyone else, nor will my treatment be like anyone else who's fought this fight.

I think that's how I'm going to handle the gloom and doomers. Tell me your uplifting stories, tell me your Mom is a 15 year survivor. But don't tell me the bad stuff. Because bad won't happen to me. I won't let anything rock my faith like the news from last night did. Not ever again.