2015 can easily be described as one of the worst years of my life. There were several concerns weighing down on me, but on October 2015 I found out that the rollercoaster ride was just about to begin. No words can describe the whirlwind of emotions when the doctor told me I had breast cancer. Even worse, that prior to starting a treatment plan, I had to have further tests to confirm if the cancer had metastasized. Without hesitation, after leaving the doctor’s office I prepared my will. In the event that something happened to me, I wanted to ensure my girls would be taken care of.
After a few weeks of waiting, I had a friend accompany me to the appointment with the oncologist, but had her wait outside while I received the diagnosis. I found out that the cancer had metastasized to my bones. I remember feeling as if I was standing in the middle of a tornado with everything coming at me: cancer, stage 4, mastectomy, radiation, chemo, my girls! It all suddenly came to a screeching halt when the doctor told me that I couldn’t have surgery, the focus was on the metastases. At that moment, another flood of emotions surged. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak. Am I going to die? Who’s going to take care of my girls? I remember the doctor asking me when I wanted to start treatment and I uttered “Right Now!” As a single mother of two girls, one a freshman in college and the other still in high school, my only option was to beat cancer.
I sat in dead silence for over two hours. My friend was next to me, but didn’t try to talk or ask questions, knowing that she was there was enough. Once at home, it took me a week to find the words to tell my loved ones. A few months later, I had to face the painful reality that my oncologist said “let’s try the treatment for six months” not “you only have to go through treatment for six months.” This diagnosis was a major lifestyle change that wasn’t going away overnight. I need to face this head on! After a lot of tears, and with the support from my childhood BFF, I decided that I was going to make the best of my time. I took my dream vacations and went to music festivals with my girls.
I will continue my treatment plan for the rest of my life but I am healthier than before and stronger than I knew I could be. I am thankful for my life and for my girls for giving me the strength to get through this journey. It’s now my time to give back to my Sister Survivors. We got this!