Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What you didn't know

The day I was diagnosed, I was by myself. I went to the doctor for my post op appt. They didn't call me to tell me to bring my husband. They led me to believe that this was no special visit. The doctor came in, looked at my incision, told me to get dressed and said she'd be back with the test results. Still, at this point, I didn't think I had cancer. She came back in and sat down on her stool. I sat on the bed. Within 10 seconds of sitting down, she told me I had breast cancer. I can remember my eyes getting wider than ever before. I blurted out "what?" She said she was just as surprised. The rest I didn't hear. I cried, no, I bawled. I couldn't breathe I was bawling so hard. Besides all the "no's" that came out, I said, "I'm not strong enough to do this." I was hunched over, my forehead on my knees. If I was standing, I would have fallen down. I hurt all over. I think the tears that came out came from my toes. They were big and fell so quickly. When I caught my breathe, I asked if I was going to die. The doctor said I wasn't. What I know now is that she didn't know that. She left to go and have someone call Daryl. He would be devastated. I knew his heart would break. I cried so hard as I said this couldn't be happening, we just got married, we have our honeymoon, we want to have children. The doctor said all this would happen, it would just be delayed. The people who were trying to call Daryl kept calling my cell phone. I finally told the doctor to tell them to stop calling, I'd call. I tried, 3,4,5 times. He finally called back, I told him to come there now. I tried not to breathe so that I could talk. Why didn't they have Daryl come with me. Why did I have to be alone. Daryl came right away. That drive would be the worst he's ever had. He walked in the exam room and we made eye contact. I couldn't stop the tears. I held him tight. He held me tighter. I whispered in his ear that I have cancer. We cried for a long time. My heart ached for me, for him, for us. Only a month prior, we had smiles so big and we were dancing to our wedding song and laughing with friends and family all around us. We had already planned to get pregnant at any time. Our honeymoon was booked to Hawaii. All that changed that day in that room. That horrible room that I never want to go back to. The honeymoon was cancelled less than a week later. The prenatal vitamins I was taking worked at nutrients I would need to fight the cancer. For an hour and a half, we sat in that exam room asking questions and trying to make sense of it all. I couldn't stop crying sometimes it hurt. All I wanted was to go home. But that would mean telling my parents, my sister, my friends. I didn't want to.

We walked quietly out of the doctor's office. Went to the elevator. I cried as we walked to Daryl's car in the parking lot. It was parked next to mine. My car stayed. I had on my workout clothes because I was going to go to the gym after my appointment. I grabbed my bag out of the car and we left. Once in the car, I cried some more. I gained enough composure to call my mom, dad, and sister to tell them to come to my house immediately. Oh how I didn't want to have to break their hearts too. I cried more. It was a long drive home but when I got home, I fell to the living room floor and my cats came to me. Everything had changed.

I'm telling you this story because I want you to know that I am strong enough. I am a survivor of over 3 months. I will survive and I will fight each day. I will fight for me and for everyone else who has cancer. There has to be a cure. We have to find it.

I am forming a team for The Relay For Life....stay tuned.

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