I have breast cancer. It makes it so real to type it. I have breast cancer. The same cancer that took Joel’s birth-mom’s life when he was 6 (Alex’s age). It is terrifying and painful beyond measure. I am in the early part of diagnosis. The part where I know that I have cancer, but I don’t know the stage, the prognosis, or the plan. The part where for the first few moments every morning, I forget, and then I remember.
I’ve always contemplated writing a blog. I would look into it, and then stop. I like reading other people’s blogs, but truly wondered why anyone would care what Melissa Fuoss had to say about the world. I still don’t know the answer to that, but now — I no longer care. If my story can help one person out there feel less alone, or make one person out there push their doctor to order further tests- then it is worth putting myself out there in the most vulnerable way.
My mind has been wandering to some pretty dark places. What if the cancer has spread all over my body? What if I die before I get to raise my beautiful boys? What if they only see me as sick, and not as silly? What if I put my body through hell, and still lose the fight? It happens to people. And then I feel angry. I breastfed both of my boys past the age of one. I work out, eat organic fruits and vegetables, stay away from high fructose corn syrup, check my cosmetics’ safety on the Environmental Working Group’s webpage, and have never smoked a cigarette in my life. I also have no genetic history of breast cancer. What happened? Why did I get it? I played the game the “right” way, how did I lose? And that is the ugly truth. Right now, I feel scared and angry.
Hope. I know I need to find it. I know I need to let go of the anger and the fear, and find the hope. I know that no matter how dark it gets, there is always light. I even know that I am strong enough to find it. But if I am being honest, I’m just not there yet.
Love. I feel the love. It is surrounds me every second of every day. The past five days have already brought me more love than some people probably experience in a lifetime. I have received countless positive texts and voice-mails. And I have already been blessed with flowers, soup, chocolate, cards, and company. I am so loved, and so lucky. I have everything I need to fight this- including my amazing husband who promises to hold my hand through it all.
On Tuesday I have an appointment at Siteman Cancer Center. Hopefully, after another round of tests, I will have a plan- a map for this journey.