This Titanic Ain't Sinking!

Somewhere in the chaos of the news, I found an inner peace.  It was a peace that would continue to baffle me in the coming weeks as friends and family wondered how it was that I wasn't totally freaking out.  I'm not sure if it came at the exact moment that my breast surgeon looked at me and said "I've got this..." (and I believed her 100%) or if it came later.  That hour in her office is such a blur, as were the hours spent at the hospital later that afternoon,  in a trance.  I remember the sweet lady who drew my blood (as I laid on the floor, feet in the air to keep from passing out as she told me that she is 65 years old and walks 7 miles a day.  She was amazing, in and out, never felt a thing- which is no small task with my veins).  I remember the goofy x-ray technician who took my chest x-ray, he seemed oddly nervous (Did I have a deer in the headlights look on my face and just not know it?  Or is it possible that this was his first x-ray without someone watching over him?  He looked like it was his first day on the job.).  And I remember the sweet lady who took my echo on my heart.  We talked about our Grandfathers and the wonderful vegetables that they grew, and she told me about eating ice cream in Amish Country.  She also told me that my surgeon was one of the best. So, yes, I do recall some of the events of that day.  They have all been filed away somewhere in my brain under the category of things that will be a part of this epic tale.

And if I can't remember when I started to feel the peaceful wave of calm take over my whole body, I certainly can't remember when I started feeling sassy and unbeatable!  When did my superwoman mojo that graced me in my fearless early 20's before becoming an over 30, over-worked, over-stressed out, extremely tired non-superwoman, return?  I guess it didn't really matter, all that counted was that she was back!  I was sure that I had lost her for good; my hectic life was too much even for her to handle.  Woo-hoo.  I was so happy to have her back, that I didn't even bother to ask her what the heck she was thinking to have left me in the first place.

There she was,  and I don't know know why but this is always how I have imagined her, in a cute little skirt, super-high heels, and of course walking her boxers!  (Although, I would not dare walk even one of my boxer in heels- it's challenging enough in running shoes!)

I have always been the type of person that will attempt anything as long as I have some clue what's going on, a plan or a list is a definite necessity.  The road map that my surgeon drew out for me, made it all seem less daunting.  As long as I had an idea what was coming, I could do this; I was a woman with a plan.  Actually, I was about to be a woman with a plan, and a team!  I really didn't have much of a choice.  At one point during our conversation with the surgeon, my husband looked at her and said, "What if she doesn't do what you're telling her to do?"  Well, if I didn't do it, breast cancer would kill me.  So, it was what had to be done.

Of all the news I received that day, perhaps the most upsetting was the fact that they couldn't remove the lump from my left breast.  I wanted it gone, I wanted it out and I wanted it out yesterday.  This horrible thing that had invaded my body, and was sucking every last bit of energy that I had right out of me didn't deserve to spend another minute residing in my body.  It may have derailed my whole life temporarily, but it was not going to claim me as a permanent victim, and in no way was it welcome.  The pain was unbearable, so intense that I had even gotten to the point where I asked for pain pills so that I could get some relief from the constant presence.  (And I am a girl who hates pain medications so much that I had a crown procedure without Novocaine.)

I was terrified of everything that was about to happen to me, and I hate being terrified.  Anxiety is not my friend, and frankly, I don't thrive on anxiety.  I had to find a way to stop being scared of everything that was about to take place.  I started reading, and the more I read, the calmer that I became.  Women all over the world, many older (and several a lot younger) than me were attacking breast cancer with a vengeance and living to tell their stories.  They were writing books, going on talk shows, blogging and changing the way that world sees breast cancer.  They were beautiful in body and mind, and courageous in spirit.  I could do it to, and I was determined that I would do it with as much grace and composure as humanly possible.  I would not whine, I would not complain.  I would not be angry at God or the world for the cruel hand that had been dealt my way.  I would learn from the experience and enjoy the strength that would come from battling something so horrific.  I would bask in the glory of the fact that I would be a better person for having living through this experience.

The decision to announce publicly on Facebook that I was about to stare breast cancer in the face head on was a hard one.  I battled with the fact that maybe it was just plain tacky, and I really shouldn't do it.  But, I had the thought that maybe,  my experience with breast cancer could be the changing force in someone else's life.  Maybe someone else who thought the way that I did, " I'm too young for a mammogram" would find herself sitting in a doctors office way earlier than I did.  While I'm not sure if that has happened or not, the response to my public announcement was incredible.  I have an amazing cheer leading squad around me.  A group of people, some whom I've never met, some whom I've known for years who are constantly sending me things to cheer me up, telling me that I can do this, and  keeping me motivated.  The positive words of encouragement are a constant ray of sunshine in my life, and they're working.


  1. Go Superwoman Go. All you need is a Bright Pink Cape. You got this.


Back to Top