I remember the day my mom told me she had breast cancer.
Actually, I remember having a bit of intuition a week prior. She had been seeing the doctor more frequently. She was filtering her words, steering conversations away from the elephant in the room that only she knew was present.
I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but having gone through the cancer-to-remission process with my dad five years prior . . . I knew something was up. So I decided to take a surprise trip home and met my parents at the high school football game.
I knew I was onto something. The surprised look on her face as she shot a “What did you tell him?” glance over to my dad said it all.
At this point, she was yet to be diagnosed. But being the nurse that she is, she knew exactly what was going on. The doctor just hadn’t given the diagnosis yet.
(Tangent: my mom should’ve been a doctor. She’s BRILLIANT. But chose us kids over her career. Something she did time and time again. And something I’ve only recently come to realize and appreciate.)
She gave me the news the next week.
The news I had heard five years prior.
The news no family wants to hear, let alone multiple times.
The news that comes with feelings of helplessness and despair.
The news that steals your breath.
The news that (literally and figuratively) kills you.
It absolutely crushed me. And I wasn’t the one fighting for my life.
Now I knew my mom was a #bosslady all my life, but how she reacted to the news and attacked her pursuit of remission was absolutely heroic. I remember her being so matter-of-fact and confident in the plan.
“I have breast cancer. I’m getting a double mastectomy. I’m beating this.”
The conviction in her voice was all I needed. I went from tears and fears to William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk . . . just a little less face paint. And you know what? She did it! It wasn’t easy, but she did it!
She’s a SURVIVOR!
I wanted to make a post in October to honor my mother during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She deserves to be honored every month. But this month, especially.
To anyone battling or having battled cancer—and any families it’s affected—my heart goes out to you.
Keep fighting and keep supporting!