Two years ago today I got “that” call. The “you have breast cancer” call. It was surreal because one part of my brain was saying “whoops sorry big mistake, it’s not you.” Another part heard “oh my God, you are dying.” I thanked the radiologist and was about to hang up when she asked if I wanted to know what kind it was. Kind? There are different kinds? I wrote it down-invasive lobular carcinoma. I’d no idea yet what that means exactly but soon I would know more than I ever thought to know about breast cancer.
It happened on a Wednesday, my day off, and I’d been waiting for it. I don’t know how I managed to power through that day, or even that week. I was home alone, twelve year old daughter at school, husband off the grid in Nepal and he wouldn’t be home until Sunday. No family to speak of besides in-laws who live in the Czech Republic and out of state cousins who I hadn’t spoken to in years, other than on FB. I e-mailed a couple of close friends who offered to drop everything to be with me, but I needed to be alone – with no distractions, to grieve the life I knew and face this seemingly impossible challenge in front of me. I cried and prayed over the next few weeks, asking God to spare me if only for my young daughter who would have no female family member to guide her into adulthood. Tomas is an amazing father, but the thought of my baby girl losing her mommy (she’s 14 now and still calls me mommy), was absolutely the most gut-wrenching moment of my life.
I admit after two years, five surgical procedures, four rounds of chemotherapy and thirty-three radiation treatments I’m still terrified, but I have the gift of knowing the magnitude of my strength is greater than I ever imagined. And like so many of my brave pink sisters, I’m STILL kicking ass and taking names. Do you hear that asshole Cancer?!