Hope, Strength, and Positive Thinking
There has been a lot going on at once for my family, with my mother’s diagnosis coming so soon after my diagnosis and first surgery, and our treatments overlapping time wise. Throughout this time, Sharsheret has been such an incredibly important part of my journey; always providing so much grounding, loving, supportive kindness. I cannot imagine what this past year from diagnosis through today would have been like without Sharsheret. It is incredibly comforting to know that I have a contact at Sharsheret who “knows me” and my story.
My first surgery took place on February 2nd, and my second surgery happened not so long ago, on July 11th. My daughter began camp the Monday before and I was happy that we had two weeks to get her acquainted with her day camp routine before I had my next reconstruction procedure. Before my procedure, I was mentally preparing for this next step. Trying to stay very optimistic about this procedure being much less intense, with an easier and faster healing process.
My mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months after me, also began the next phase of her treatment about two weeks after my surgery. She was scheduled to begin her radiation therapy at the end of July, once my drains were out, and I could be back in the swing of things for the most part, without the extra help of my parents. Something I love about the photo in this blog is it shows the close connection between two women, both who received diagnoses where we were given the same choices for our surgical treatment. I chose one path for my reasons at 40 years old and my mother chose the other surgery and treatment for her reasons as a 66 year old woman. Never once did either of us second guess or question the others’ choice, we went different directions, and respected each other with the same non-judgmental support and compassion one experiences when they contact Sharsheret and speak with the social workers and peer supporters.
We both feel fortunate as the recovery process could certainly be much more difficult and complicated for both me and my mother. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I find it is helpful to take that step back and think about the breast cancer community as a whole. This step back provides so much perspective when I realize we are not alone. I always feel inspired and in awe reflecting on the stories of so many women who are also bravely fighting their cancer. So many of whom have to endure significantly greater treatment therapies and sacrifices requiring enormous strength and courage. This helps remind me that my mother and I will get through this challenging time as well.
Being connected to Sharsheret means a great deal to me. Having a direct connection to a larger group of women who are battling breast cancer provides me with so much hope, strength and positive thinking..