One year ago today I had my breast biopsy and was told that given the imaging, and the biopsy sample, that the doctor felt there was a 5% chance or less that it was NOT cancer. He told me to go ahead and decide on a surgeon and prepare myself. I remember being in shock and just plain scared. My husband, mom, step-dad, and older sister Monica went with me for the biopsy and when I came out from the back I walked right past them in the waiting room and went outside. I sat on the bench and just started to cry. How do you tell your husband, mom, and sister that the doctor is pretty sure that you have breast cancer at age 37? I cried for a few minutes and then dried it up and tried to be positive. Two days later on July 17th I found out the news…my biopsy was positive for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. I don’t think I will ever forget that awful feeling that hit me when I was told for sure that I had breast cancer.
Here is a “pre-cancer” pic:
The next month was a whirlwind of doctor appointments, tests, and surgery. It is surprising how quickly your entire life can change in a heartbeat. In the midst of the appointments, surgery, and chemotherapy treatments I thought that life would never be “normal” again.
Now that I am on the other side of treatment I am finally seeing “normal” again. The past year has been a roller coaster ride for sure. I wish that this breast cancer journey was a journey that I never had to take, but that was not how it worked out for me. The cancer journey showed me that I am married to my life mate, my best friend, the love of my life. Nick was with me every single step of the way. He held me when I cried, he held my hand, held me when I was scared, encouraged me with positive words, and was by my side for every appointment, surgery, and treatment. He was my rock. I am sure when he said the words “through sickness and health, good times and bad” during our wedding ceremony 21 years ago he never thought that that he would be supporting me though sickness and some of the worse times that a family can endure. But he did it. He was there through the sickness and the bad times and I can never repay him for all that he had done for me.
Cancer has changed me. I don’t believe that a person can go through cancer and the resulting treatments and not be changed in the process. I now know just how strong I am. I am no longer afraid of so many things. (I am still deathly afraid of snakes though…cancer can’t even get rid of that fear!!!!!) I am living life to the fullest. I am loving my family, enjoying time spent with them, letting the little things go, and being thankful for each and every day that I have with my family and friends. I do not want to waste a minute of my time being mad or angry. I want to enjoy every day to the fullest.
I still have a fear deep inside of me that one day the cancer may come back. I don’t think that the fear of recurrence will ever leave me. I am able to bury it deep sometimes, but at the strangest moments it rears it’s ugly head. I believe that this is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.
I again would like to thank each and every family member and friend who has helped me and my family through out this past year. So many people showed their love by sending flowers, cards, t-shirts for cancer awareness, food, other gifts, phone calls, e-mails, and texts. Your kindness meant so much to me and my family.
I am now in a happy place. I am healthy again, cancer free, and feeling more normal again. I am getting my strength and energy back. I am back to work…with a new job that I am loving (both the job and the people there). What a difference a year can make. This exact day one year ago I was devastated. But I was stronger that I ever thought I could be. I beat cancer. I kicked its ass! I did it.
Here I am today…one year later. I have hair again! Wild and crazy hair…but HAIR! haha