In Denial or Being Strong

This morning I woke up and thought about how all this time as I refused to entertain the idea that this insidious uninvited guest (cancer) has spread through my body, I was being strong.  … and then I realized, I was in denial, because I didn’t know how I would and could react with any other news which would necessitate chemo and radiation therapy prior to mastectomy.

As I pondered this, I understood that I would accept it as 1 out of 8 women do, and cry, and move on.

For me, it wasn’t to be my path.

My husband and I sat in the Dr’s office this morning and received the wonderful news ‘ that the sentinel node biopsies (all 3) were negative.

It is bizarre to be grateful to only have to have a mastectomy.

But, regardless of what we endure, whether mastectomy, radiation, chemo, and drugs, increased risk of lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis, strokes, and heart problems as a result,  we remain who we are… and perhaps, maybe a little improved in other ways too.

I’ve met a wonderful woman who is a strong, brave woman, and whose path veers slightly from mine.  She is not having a mastectomy, but is going through chemo and radiation.  As I mentioned, she is strong, and smart, and vibrant.  She will always be this, for it is who she is… even breast cancer cannot change it.  Tears cannot change it.  And I know, like me, she will walk through this valley of hell and come out on the other side.

Our friends and family rally around us, endless prayers, thoughts, angels and wishes surround us.  Our mind understands what is happening, our body experiences it,  and if we can choose, we find strength in the love around us, and the fact that we are not alone through this.

So I sit here, knowing my life has changed and will change, forever.




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. msfsw
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 12:06:04

    ..and still, we sur-thrive. when I had my brain tumor treatment, we used to say ‘keep on keepin on’. we have this life, it is now, and it is. how we handle our challenges can either free us or keep us locked to the past, vanquishing the present and the future. i truly believe that. the choice is only to accept and move forward.

    i have a quote from the Dalai Lama in Wisdom under Resources… John Lennon was once quoted as saying ‘Fear of the unknown is what it is, forget that and it is all clear sailing”.

    i do not wish to live in fear. i do not wish to continue having surgeries because of vanity and complications, i simply wish to live and create happiness in my life and the lives of others. if I can do that small thing, it is huge.


  2. Mark
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 00:30:55

    Change is life. Life is good. As hard as it is for me sometimes, I try to embrace change and adapt.
    It can be hard—almost always hard.
    What other choice is there?


  3. Helene Jeanette
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 02:00:29

    My sister, my twin, my love. Thank you for posting this blog. Thank you for taking me on this journey with you. When first you spoke, like you, I felt numb, then denial set in. And it called into question what I believe in. How could I be there for you if my mind was not certain? What was the gift I wanted to offer? Only love. No room for doubt. Well, it didn’t happen the way I wanted. You were still diagnosed with the “C” word. But I wonder sometimes if you are Beatrice, the divine companion in Dante’s Divine Comedy who shows us the face of hell and paradise. To me, you show only Paradise because you, my brave twin, cast fear aside and choose love, and faith when there is a synapse between love and where you stand.

    I am with you always and I am thankful that D is there with you every step. S too, is there with us both. we will see this through. And at the “end of the rainbow,” we will smile. I love you.


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