April 8, 2015
It’s been exactly one year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One year ago in March I felt a lump in the upper part of my right breast. I hoped it was not, but feared it was, cancerous. My mammogram was already scheduled so I waited the 3 weeks for that and my annual physical exam. That was the start of many doctor appointments, tests, and a roller coaster ride. I remember where I was and what I was doing when I got the call (even though I have forgotten a lot of the bad days during and after chemo). I was at work, sitting at a different desk in the office, when I answered the call from the doctor’s office. I already knew it was cancer but had to wait for the official diagnosis. I listened, and then briefly put my head on the desk. I didn't cry and went back to work when the phone rang again. I really never did get angry at God, break down and bawl, or feel sorry for myself. That’s just not me. I did cry a few times….mostly because I was afraid of the unknown.
Yes, I've been through a lot this past year; many ups and downs…. I don't remember it as being a bad summer….I am thankful that I was able to do many things that I wanted to do. It’s far from over and won't be over until my days on earth are done. I've had lots of side effects; some have gone, others linger on, and any number of others could appear in the future. There are many, many more breast cancer champions who have been through much worse than me and some have had an easier time with it. Every single case is different, but yet the same. I appreciate sharing with other cancer champions but I don't want breast cancer to define me. It is a part of me….and I am made up of many, many puzzle pieces. I belong to an elite club that I'd rather not be a part of. It is surprising how many women do belong to this 'club'. Parts of my life have been forever changed.
This past year I have been uplifted in prayer by family, friends, and friends whom I have not even met. Beautiful and thoughtful cards have graced my mailbox and made me smile to know so many care. I have received gifts, hugs, rides to doctor appointments, and kind words. I have made friends with others who have fought this terrible disease. People have stepped up to physically help me with what needs to be done. Kevin did his part and remained as quiet as ever.
I am not sure what will happen next, I am still undergoing radiation treatments and have issues with my heart (that is improving). My prescriptions have quadrupled and I'm not sure if I'll be on all of them forever or what to expect. I am ordering a medical ID bracelet. I have been doing what I have to do. I am a fighter and will continue to do so. I am not special, lots of people have health issues more serious than mine…I do not want to be put on a pedestal…but I do like knowing that I am loved, cared for, and not alone.
God is with me always. I am thankful that he has given me this body and is healing it ….he told me that in a dream at the beginning of this fight. I was straddling a log that was above a body of water and inching my way over to the other side. As I worked my way slowly across I slipped and nearly fell (I don't remember how many times- 1 or 2) but I did not fall off. I made it to the other side. When I woke up I knew it meant that I'd make it…even with my congestive heart failure and low ejection fraction slowing me down I made it! I'm happy and I feel good!