I was just diagnosed with breast cancer. So, there’s that. In some ways, it’s hardly a surprise since my mother died from breast cancer and one of my sisters was diagnosed when she was 40. There are 5 women in 3 generations in my family, now including me, who have or have had breast cancer. The good news is I have every reason to believe that I will be a survivor. They caught the cancer early. The mass is small. It’s an excellent prognosis. I believe I will follow in my sister’s footsteps and have a long life ahead of me with my husband and children. Please, God, I continually pray.
While the doctors are optimistic, they do not walk in my shoes. They did not watch my mother suffer when the cancer metastasized to her liver and then her spine. They did not watch her die in the hospital, sitting with her, holding her hand. They did not grieve her, still grieve her, the way I do today. I think I’ve always been waiting to be diagnosed. Now that it’s happened, I feel a mixture of fear, anxiety, and relief. It’s now my turn in our family to fight this fight. And, I will fight. And, I will pull from the strength of my family, friends, and colleagues. I am humbled by their offers of support and prayers. So many prayers. Please, God, I continually pray.
I pray for my future health and well-being. I pray for my husband that he have continuous strength and good health. I pray for my children that they will grow up in a world that is safe. I pray that they will have long healthy lives filled with joy and love. And, I think about what I want my legacy to be.
I’ve always planned for this moment, in a way. On the occasion of each of my son’s births, I wrote them a letter. I wanted them to read when they were older about the joy and love I feel for them as their mother. I put the letters in a safe place and have decided to write a new one on significant occasions. At the time of the new occasion, I give them the old letter I previously wrote and write a new one to be saved and given at the time of the next special occasion. A new tradition steeped in faith, love, and hope. I want my children always to know how amazing they are and how much I love them.