I went to bingo one night last week only to hear from a friend that one of her neighbor's has been diagnosed with breast cancer. My friend is concerned and asked if I could speak with her. I can and will when she is ready.
Hearing this news saddens me, but what saddens me more is not the chemo, hair loss or breast removal, but the fear and sometimes sheer terror some endure as we face down this deadly beast.
So, I hope she will hear me when I reach out to her and try to be the best advocate I can be when I tell her that living begins with remembering that she is STILL ALIVE! And there are some amazing and incredible doctors and nurses out there that are going to help in any way they can. But as a patient, her first and biggest decision must be "Fight or Flight". She get's that choice. Does she want to live or not? If she does, then choose to fight - hard.
I will tell her the same thing I have said over and over, "Your life will become a roller coaster of emotions, tears, fears, laughter, love, anger, and every other feeling you can imagine, so embrace it. Relish each moment because you can never get it back. Recognize it for what it is and remember there are no guarantee's, we just fight every day and then let God do the rest.
I have not yet met her so today all I can do is say a special prayer for her and her children. That's right, she has children. I remember very well how my own boys were affected by my diagnosis. It broke my heart, but it made me fight that much harder. Even through the hardest of days, I was determined to not leave them - not yet. And now "she" must make that decision for herself because her babies need her too. I am praying for her and hope she is feeling a little bit better today and is taking those baby steps towards recovering.