Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Breast Cancer Sucks.
Being a young woman myself (I am 33 years old), I can tell you that this cancer is a raging beast to be on the lighter side of things. After just finishing 6 months of heavy chemo I would love to say: "It is over. I am done. We can forget that it ever happened!" But the truth is this cancer is not done with me yet. It is a sad, but honest truth.
I have been battling this cancer for close to 15 months now. December 2006 marked a year since I first felt that ever so small lump, that made it's way into something darker, something larger, something deadlier by January.
" Cancer," those were the words coming out of Johnny's mouth that morning. Breast cancer no less. But there was such hope. We would just remove the breast.( Just remove what makes a women a women.) But OK, we dealt with that. Then we thought I was clear. No radiation, no chemo. Then the news came. Cancer in the lymph nodes. Chemo. Six months of it. Six months of hell. Ten years of waiting. In ten years my boys will go from 7 and 9 to 17 and 19.
Living with breast cancer has to be done. You cannot give up, feel sorry for yourself, stop living just because death is buying for you everyday. Living with breast cancer is painful. Getting out of bed, walking up stairs, cleaning your house, just being the mom you once were on a daily basis is painful. But still, you get up and you do it. There is no choice. You are a women, a mother, and a wife.
Breast cancer makes you feel old. One morning you simply wake up and look in the mirror and you see an old woman at 33 years old looking back at you. You look around you at the other women in your life and those that are just passing by, and you realize just how tired, how sick, how utterly old you have become. Your hair is gone, your breast is gone andin it's place is an unseemly lump with a thick, long scar across your chest, your skin is peeling, your body is swollen and you can see the passage of 10 years on your face in less than an actual year. Suddenly you realize why you are getting those stares from people, you begin to understand even though it stings why those who were once pillars in your life have jumped ship. You are a walking ghost and they just can't bring themselves to look at you, share the pain or care because they can't face the idea of death reaching out with it's cold hand into their lives on such a personal level.
But with all that said, I want to say this: There is always hope. There is always strength, always faith and always courage waiting to carry us through all this. If you know a women going through this battle with breast cancer, don't walk away because you are afraid. Reach out to her. Be a friend even if it makes you uneasy. Her cancer is not going away, it will forever be a part of her, her family and those who choose to be a part of her life.
Choose to be aware, for you, your loved ones and for all those who have been touched by breast cancer. It 's time to support those who are struggling with it's grip, a time to encourage those who have beat the beast and a time to remember those we have all lost to this darkness.
Fight fear with information.
Keep fighting and keep hope alive!