The title has nothing to do with what I wanted to write about. It’s just one of my favorite Mark Twain quote. Anyway, WordPress has an interesting feature when you are on your dashboard planning a new post. It’s a link that says “inspire me”, and out of curiosity, I clicked it. Below was the inspiration I received:
Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?
It’s like this blog can read my mind…lol. I know this story as been told ad-flippin-nauseum, but hey, my blog, my rules.
Obviously, that day will always be reserved for November 18, 2013. Being the pain in the ass that I am, I was told I would have my cancer results 3 days prior, alas that was not true. At the time I was a pain in the ass patient who would call and call and call until they were SO sick of me, they had no choice to rush. The doctor who had my results, very nonchalantly said “Yeah the mass is partially a radial scar, but you do have breast cancer.” To answer the question if my reaction was justified, I’d say hell yes, especially in the early stages where no knows anything beyond the fact that you have cancer. Lastly, the question of how did I respond – easy, I flipped out.
The reason I wanted to post today is a mixed bag of things. An acquaintance of mine, who has always been very nice to me, so helpful, is basically in the last stages of life, from battling cancer as well. It makes my heart sad. He’s still up and around, and if you’d happen to see him on the street, you’d never even know he was sick. We used to lunch together in the break room, I loved talking to him because he sounds like my father-in-law, with whom I am very close. I hope I get to see my acquaintance one more time.
Also, a lot of people have asked me a good question, now that I am on the “other side” so to speak. The question I am asked the most is “How did you feel and react after the initial diagnosis?” This story is so MESSED UP. These thoughts came before I knew anything about what was going to happen.
First of all, I had constructed this elaborate plan to divorce my husband and sign over my parental rights, as long as Jim and I could hash out a proper will of “who gets Maegan if we both die?” I was so afraid that the cancer treatment would be the same regime as with my mom, that I was refusing to put anyone I acquainted with through that. I was seriously going to pack and leave.
I hadn’t even broached the subject with Jim and one day when the cancer shit was hitting the fan, I was a blubbering mess. He sat me down, got me to breathe, looked me in the eyes and said “Whatever it takes, we got this.” In that moment I knew I needed Jim, as my everything, but that I had so many other people who have done so many things that have meant the world to me that I needed too. I will list them below:
The best friend – who not only shared in the “yeah, it’s nothing” to blubbering on the phone when I results came in.
The sister – who said “Meh, it’s nothing” before diagnosis, and tried her hardest to get here for surgery.
The NV sister – who cried with me. But insisted I’d be fine.
The NY sister – who cried so hard, and tried to make it out, but the stars were never aligned correctly
The Aerie girls – who said and meant “Whatever you need, I am there.” They always followed though.
Then there was the unbending, no complaint awesomeness that I got from the people I work with. I told them I planned to be back to work in a week after the mastectomy, it evolved into a month. They have never once begrudged the frugalpoopillon doctors appointments after I returned. I am thankful that I fell in with the right group, everyday.
Moral of the story? You need your people if you are sick. I thank my lucky stars daily for all of you in my life.
Love and light – Jen