...on April 1st, 2009 while touching my breast as I was about to nurse my son I felt a bean-sized lump. I tried not to worry, thought maybe it was something breastfeeding related, but knew I needed to get it checked right away. My primary care doc is less than a mile from my house so I decided to just show up first thing and get a script for a mammogram. As I sat at my dining room table the next morning waiting for her office to open I continued to absentmindedly feel my breast. It was then I found the other two lumps. I looked at my husband with sudden clarity and said, “I’m screwed.” It took 26 more days to get the diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma.
Since that day last year I have had a mastectomy and reconstruction, discovered the cancer spread ever so slightly to my lymph nodes and have gone through the wound healing process from Hell thanks to skin necrosis. I experienced an SVT after port placement, had almost a dozen chemo infusions and now have been diagnosed with lymphedema. To say this last year sucked more than any other year of my life would be the understatement of all time.
But I’m still here. My kids still have their mother.
That doesn't mean I am positive or grateful or even contemplative. That doesn't mean I haven't cried my eyes out a dozen times just this week alone. It just means that I know I have to hang on, there isn't any other alternative.
So today I will go to the infusion room at the hospital for treatment and joke around with the nurses and all my chemo comrades. We’ll hang out in our vinyl recliners while poison drips into our veins and we’ll laugh…because we always do.
Yup, today I will laugh, and for at least right now, that will have to be enough.