I am sure that many of you suspected that I was alluding to a potential cancer diagnosis. And sadly, that is how my case has unfolded.
My timeline has been fairly quick. My husband found a lump on 10/24. Mammogram and ultrasound were scheduled 10/29. Biopsy this Monday, 11/2. Diagnosis yesterday 11/3. Crapload of testing today, 11/4.
Emotions have been crashing like waves. For the most part, I am calm. Removed, almost. Treating the testing and diagnosis as though I am absorbing it for some close family member. But then a thought crosses my mind or I see my husband looking at me or not looking at me, or I see my mother’s red-rimmed eyes, or I hear my dad’s voice catch and the tears rush into my eyes like a dam breaking.
My overwhelming thought is that I hate that I am causing such worry to my loved ones. I look at my strong and protective husband and I see fear and uneasiness. When I ask him if he is OK, he hesitates, and then tells me that he is struggling with his worst fear — losing me. And my heart sinks.
Dad came by late yesterday afternoon just to hug me. Even though we were coming over less than two hours later. Mom cried at work. My sister booked a flight here. My close friends called and texted, in shock at the diagnosis, but doing their best to be calm and supportive. My sister-in-law cried, and my niece is devastated. My nephews are concerned.
And my son. My sweet son. His reaction was nonchalant. But he wanted to sleep with me last night. Keep me close.
I chose to take a public route to inform all but my closest family and friends. My husband and I announced it on Facebook and then to Instagram. We live in a small community and have a business in the center of town. Word travels lightning-fast here, and Hubs and I felt the best route was to pre-empt the rumors with a statement from us. While some may feel this is an inappropriate form of communication, my husband and I felt it was best for us, as we have friends in several states, a large local presence, and a proven local rumor mill.
The response has been nothing but extremely supportive. I am so utterly touched and encouraged by every single response. To know that casual acquaintances of mine, but good friends with my sister, are rooting for me make me know that she has an amazing support system so many states away from me. To know that the people my husband grew up with are in his court are praying for us makes me feel a tiny bit less concerned about his support system. To know that my parents’ friends and colleagues know and are offering their kindnesses and friendship to them, helps me to think they have confidants with whom they can honestly discuss their fears.
In the meantime, my biggest fear is that I will cause my loved ones heartbreak and grief. I am not afraid of my treatment. Sadly, I am used to feeling different, vomiting at a moment’s notice, and dealing with pain. It doesn’t scare me. What it could do to those connected to me — that is what makes me cry.
One of my dear friends asked me to not stop writing. And so I won’t. I am a proponent of self-advocating, and I will continue to be. Writing is so cathartic for me, so I will continue to write. And I will hope that my words resonate with someone else.