Two years ago today, while I was laying flat on my back in an exam room, a doctor came in, looked me in the eye, held my hand and told me there was a very strong chance that the mammogram and ultrasound images she’d just looked at indicated I had breast cancer.
The official results from the biopsy came the next day, but I’ll never forget that first moment of knowing I had cancer. I’d like to tell you I was brave. I wasn’t. I was terrified. I sobbed, alone, in the safety of my car, with Ryan on the phone a hundred miles away. And the trajectory of my life was forever changed.
The girl who plans everything no longer had a plan to follow..That first holiday season was hard. Instead of celebrating Christmas and the season, we were focused on doctor appointments, MRIs, scans, getting my port put in, genetic testing, heart ECHO tests, discussions about whether we wanted to freeze eggs for possible future children we didn’t know for sure we’d ever want, and starting chemo.
Now, two years on, I can’t hardly believe the ways my life has changed and the things I’ve done despite the blockades cancer presented.
While I can’t exactly say that I’m grateful for cancer, I am glad this date falls close to Thanksgiving and the holidays. It’s a very real reminder to be grateful for my family, friends and our life. Cancer HAS brought many blessings: New friends, new experiences, and a deeper compassion for the struggles others face. It’s an ever-present reminder to stay focused on what truly matters and the knowledge that it is ok to let go of control when there are things beyond my powers.