I have asked several of my family members to write something for my blog. The following is from my younger sister, Amanda. I did not realize how emotional it would be to read someone else’s perspective on my diagnosis.
Cancer. When you hear this word it makes you sick deep down in the pit of your stomach. When someone you know has cancer it’s a million times worse. When I heard my sister had cancer, breast cancer, just like our mamaw, I was scared and helpless. My mind raced with a hundred questions: How far along is it? Did they catch it in time? What if she dies? I know that my sister is tough and can get through anything, but sometimes that’s not enough – what would I do if something happened to her!? What would Mom do? Her kids? Her husband? Every night I prayed that none of us would have to find out. I prayed for strength for her and her family and I questioned God. I know you’re not supposed to, but sometimes you have to wonder how something so awful could happen to such a selfless person. But it did. And she beat it. It wasn’t easy, but she did it. As she was going through treatment I felt so helpless. There just wasn’t anything that I could do that I thought would help. I tried to do things that might make it a little less worse like making sure to call and visit every time I had a chance and to pick up library books, but it didn’t seem like enough. I was so amazed by her strength and positive attitude – she handled it so much better than I ever could. During her treatment her doctor suggested that I along with her daughter start getting mammograms and MRIs at the age of 27. Well I was already 27 so I had to start right away. Going in for the testing was so nerve wrecking. Not only did I not know what to expect but what if they found something? I know that was the point, to detect as early as possible but still it wasn’t something I wanted to do, even though I know it needed to happen. The testing wasn’t so bad. I even fell asleep in the MRI machine – don’t ask me how with all that noise! The mammogram technician told me not to be surprised if they asked for more films, but that didn’t make me feel any better when the radiologist requested them. I was in full panic mode when I was sent for an ultrasound. Obviously there was something to be concerned about or all that wouldn’t be necessary. I couldn’t get any real answers and then after the ultrasound I was told that everything looked fine but I needed to come back in 6 months. WHAT!? My logical/rational self keeps telling myself that I need to do it for comparatives – we can’t know what normal is if we’ve never had a comparison right? Even though I have myself pretty much talked into that thinking, there is still fear deep down there. There is potentially something or else they wouldn’t have me come back so soon – I could have just waited until next year. I’m hoping that the doctor is just being extra cautious due to our family history, and I’d rather have a doctor do that then brush a potential danger off as nothing. I’m so thankful that my sister had a doctor that was perceptive and caught her small sign of potential problems – so many doctors could have brushed that off – then where would we be?