....After a long night of fighting cancer cells our super hero is back on the chemo couch. Suddenly Breast Cancer Woman springs to her feet to face her arch villain, The Beast! They stand toe to toe and eye to eye, circling, pacing with teeth clenched. The Beast reaches for BCW, but she is too late, BCW has already been juiced full of the Red Devil himself. BCW is grinning back at The Beast who begins to cower in fear. Still The Beast growls as Breast Cancer Woman begins to glow an iridescent red and yells "I'll be back!" BCW just grins bigger as she grabs her trusty side kick, the IV Pole, and replies, " No you won't you fiend, I have T.A.C.! "
A bit melodramatic, I know, but the truth is without a bit of humor, a willingness to fight and the determination to survive, Breast Cancer can't be beat. Many ask me how I have kept such an upbeat positive attitude with the risk of death chomping at my heels. Well, I have done so with lots and lots of humor and determination. I have never accepted anything less than the idea of beating this beast. Defeat is not in my vocabulary. I will not be her victim nor will I allow my children to be left motherless. Does it mean I will never succumb to the beast? No, what it does mean is I will never go down without throwing a punch or without a willingness to survive.
Did I ever see myself battling cancer, breast cancer no less, in my early thirties? No way baby! But you know, I have had to face this demon over the last 3 years time and time again. I have lost my breast, no new news there, faced chemo, and the list goes on. If I really wanted to I could lay down, roll over and give up. no one would blame me and believe me I have had some of those moments behind the scenes. But I will tell you giving up, giving in or losing heart has never been an option for me. those options have not nor will ever be on the table! It's not that I am super woman made of steel because I am so far from a hero as one can be. Seriously, you want to know what it is that keeps me strong? OK ,then allow me to let you in on my secret... TTF. The Three F's. Yep you heard me right. now you ask me what in tarnation are those? Friends, Family and Faith are the three things that will see you through.
Many times over the course of this struggle I have had these three things strong holds carry me through diversity. I have not done any of this alone because the struggle for my life is not and has never been purely about myself. True it is my life, but I am not an island unto myself. So making myself one now, in the middle of a fire fight while fighting for my life, most certainly is not the best way to defeat the beast.
I am a mother first. My children are the very reason I am determined to live, so it is their lives I put first. I am also a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. In all these roles I have reasons to survive. In turn they offer me hope, strength and determination to move forward, to fight and to overcome my pain. The Three F's are here to encourage , to push me a little when I need it and to hold my hand when I am afraid but never to pity or inadvertently wound me .
My strength has not come easy nor has it kept me from feeling the loss of my breast or my life as it was before. But in this journey, this fight I have found hope and a new sense of faith. Essentially I have been given a new me. I am secure in the woman I have become. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the friends I have made along the way. At the end of the day I am carried by unseen hands and in His might I am renewed and made strong again. I am whole in mind and in body even if all the world sees is a one breasted, uniboob. woman in the wake of the beast.
Now back to the story...
Laughing BCW kicks The Beast out the door, shielding her chemo compatriots with her colorfull cape. BCW's boot imprint firmly glowing on The Beast's scaly hind quarters she returns to her own couch. As the sun is setting, Breast Cancer Woman watches The Beast retreat. She sighs thankfully, given another day to fight off the enemy and another day to live if only in the shadow of the Beast....