Hearing you have breast cancer is heart-stopping. It’s mind-boggling. And, believe it or not, it’s empowering. It sets a course. There is no choice but forward.
To survive, you have to mobilize, gather a team – medical, emotional, complementary, family, dear ones – and forge ahead. There’s no turning back, because to turn back means you will die, maybe not now, but certainly sooner than you ever intended.
My hope and prayer is that my experience will help someone – some woman somewhere – who gets this news, who leaves work in a stupor, sits in a coffee shop parking lot and cries, and then knows she has no choice but to move forward. Moving forward means life.
It also means, at times, physical pain, terror, immense gratitude, anger, and most every emotion in the dictionary. This is my story and while I hope breast cancer one day does not define me, for now, its consequences are ever-present. I need to write. And so it is.
Photo credit: Me, on day of diagnosis