Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"I don't think I could do that."

In the waiting room before I went back for my MRI, I stared at an older woman waiting in a chair across from me. With a scarf covering her bare skinned scalp and olive skin, it was obvious she had cancer. I thought to myself ...How does she do it? How does she show up and wait, time and time again? Waiting hoping that this time the news the doctors had would be different? It must be hard to visit a doctor all the time. To be sick.

I looked at my mom and said, "I don't think I could do that."

My mom, aware of the thoughts in my head without even having to say them, agreed with me. Shaking her head, she said, "It is hard". For those people. For those people, who have cancer. It is very hard.

Soon after my name was called, I went back for my MRI. When I was finished I came back to the waiting room and noticed that the older woman was gone.

I smiled at my mom, told her that the MRI went well and we walked out of the hospital quickly discussing where we would have dinner that evening.

Never ever did I leave the office that day thinking I would be "one of those people, who have cancer".

Two weeks ago yesterday I became a cancer patient.

Today I am trying to find out how I am supposed to do this.

How do I show up to work? Go to the doctor for what already feels like the tenth time? How do I keep going, when it seems like the world around me has stopped. Like someone robbed me of the life I once had.

Last evening I went on a run (while I still can) at Washington Park with one of my best friends from college and shared my frustration. Frustrated that it seems everyone around me gets to keep going on with life...

Friends planning trips, buying new houses, getting married.....

As for me, I am preparing to battle breast cancer.

My heart aches.... like I never ever knew that it could.

Yesterday I cancelled my end of November flight to Guatemala. My high school best friend, Stephanie Riley is getting married there. After a year of anticipation, her wedding is November 29, 2014 and I don't get to be there.

I came home last night to my first of many large medical bills and several medical bill estimates. This new reality is lonely, heart breaking, sad and scary.

As you continue on with your day to day, may you find joy and gratitude in even the minimal and say an extra prayer for me. Your messages and virtual hugs are received with the utmost gratitude. The gifts and cards adorning my house make me smile, so thank you.

I am honored to announce I will be an aunt next year. An aunt and a breast cancer survivor even if I don't know how to do either of them.

Congratulations to my sister and Josh. I love you both and your little bean on the way.

Below is a picture of Amy Patwa, my friend I spoke of and a woman who I have admired so much. Two years ago she lost her battle with breast cancer. She like me was BRCA 2 positive. She radiated joy through the end and made sure everyone knew that she was not angry. But she trusted who God was in it all. Sure hoping she could share some of that with me today.