I am a breast cancer survivor, and recently contacted Sharsheret, because I would like to become a link.
Like an invincible teenager, I was never going to get cancer. This mind set led to almost never doing self breast exams, and waiting 3 years between routine mammograms. What a shocker when that routine mammogram in August 2007 (at age 44) led so quickly to the diagnosis of the big “C.”
We dreaded telling the kids, but couldn’t delay, as we were worried that they would hear about it inadvertently from a phone message. They took the news better than expected, and offered many words of encouragement. Our son, who had just turned 12, approached me in the kitchen to say “It sucks that you have cancer.” Our 7 year old daughter wanted to feel the lump, although with her one tiny pointer finger, she wasn’t able to really feel anything. Then for the next few days, she approached me often to say “I’m sorry you have a bump, mommy,” and “How did you get that bump?”
Being active duty in the Navy, I received my medical treatment at Bethesda National Medical Center. I was blessed with an excellent and compassionate medical team, everyone from the doctors, my nurse case manager, the hospital corpsmen, and the humorous therapists in Radiation Oncology.
I learned a lot about my family, friends and acquaintances during this time. Some found it uncomfortable to talk with me, but many of my relationships deepened tremendously during this time, and it still brings tears to my eyes to think of the overwhelming support and love that I received from family and friends.