Wearing a pink ribbon isn’t enough. We are all aware of breast cancer. This is the way to help. To support someone just like you, who is going through hell.
Don’t think it can’t happen to you, like I did. I had NO risk factors, the opposite of risk factors. I had a clean mammogram. I never did breast checks because I didn’t ‘have’ to. And I was always pregnant or nursing too so it seemed silly. My lump grew from undetectable in January to golf ball sized in October and STILL I only felt it when I lost 10 pounds. I am SO lucky I caught it when I did and truly it is LUCK. I was only 48 years old. No family history.
And I only am a “survivor” by pure luck. I did nothing to survive, nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done. Showed up for chemo, and cried my way through it. Got thrown on the cancer train one day and stayed on till they let me off a year later. I was lucky that I had people encouraging me and the best friends ever and parents who offered to trade places with me and served me hand and foot and a doctor who I loved who didn’t let me jump off that train even one cold day in January when I said I was done and not doing it anymore.
Survivor? I deserve no accolades for it and feel guilty when I hear that word. Luck. Period.
I don’t know that I am ready to write about it all because I still live in fear and gratitude and anger and trauma and it seems like ages ago and then something will trigger it and it floods back. Did this really happen to me? I was going through Abbey’s art work trying to find a picture to frame and I saw the photos she took of me and I look like hell, a stranger. That was last week and I am still shaking from just seeing those photos. My little Patrick-he takes it the hardest, and it was so scary for him. For all the kids. It does change your life and it does make you see more of the little things-that is the good part but not worth it. I was a grateful mom anyways. I didn’t “need” cancer to see the little things. It’s just plain unfair all the way around.
There are lessons in hardships-I know that for sure.
I know I can survive anything.
I know that cancer is more than a rah-rah ribbon and pink t-shirt and booby jokes.
It is shitty. That’s the only word I can think of to describe it.