Surprises when you have breast cancer
Yesterday I received some unpleasant and unexpected news. As I was happily working on my personal to do list, my doctor called. The one that performed my lumpectomy. He asked me how I was and I said I felt great. Then he said, "We seem to have a bit of a problem." My heart sank and my stomach knotted.
As it turns out, my easy simple breast cancer has turned into an in your face cancer. Cancer was found throughout the breast basically. And it's from my understanding that he will recommend a mastectomy. Definitely not what I want to hear but it could be worse -- a lot worse.
I called my sister and my mom. I texted friends and other family who I knew were waiting to hear. In the meantime, Jeff came home from school and overheard the conversation. I felt bad that he found out how he did. We were pretty much both in shock and scared but at least it's not the worst.
Laura is so sweet. She cried when I told her. It's not easy at all to tell a nine year old about a mastectomy after I told her I had the easiest kind. She expressed that she never wants me to change and is worried about my pain. She sang to me the song called Fight Song.
Last night, after the kids went to bed, all I wanted to do was cry. And I did. It was like my body went into mourning over the loss of one of the members. I felt anger, loss and fear. Being 40 should be fun. My daughter is 9 and Jason's 3. Jeff's about to graduate and warmer weather is coming back. I was looking forward to working out, returning to less stress, potty training and teaching Jason. I was happy to support Laura in activities and her school. It wasn't supposed to go this way.
A mastectomy is bound to be hard for me. I crawl on the floor to get around at home, I'm lifted up, and I move constantly. How will this work? Plus my self esteem. I grew accustomed to my body and dislike the thought of anything removed. I'm mad about cancer bothering me when I already have a significant disability. I'm scared that I won't live up to my standards in motherhood and being a wife. I feel horrible my daughter is worried. I'm terrified of getting other cancer.
But I do want to live and be around as long as possible so I need to do what I need to. On Thursday, I find out all the details and decisions are to be made and once again I see the operation room for the third time in a month or so. I know I can do this but it's infuriating that so many have to. We are born with our body and our body shouldn't betray us by bad cells!
Writing helps me a lot so you might read the good, bad and ugly. As I'm reading a lot of stories of women in similar circumstances, I hope one day this blog will make someone feel that they aren't alone. You'll cry, you'll be strong when needed, you'll do what you need to do to survive. The big secret is that you aren't fighting cancer because it's an unfair battle. You are simply making constant choices to live and be healthy. You are fighting for your soul not to be a cranky, bitter and sad person. That's the real fight, and we can win if we decide!