The Date: August 19, 2011
A date forever etched into my memory. It was on that date that I stood by my car, holding my cell phone in my hand, and hearing the doctor say, "I'm very sorry to tell you this, but there were some cancer cells that showed up."
As those words were spoken, time seemed to stand still and I entered an alternate universe. It was a place that I never dreamed I would be. Cancer happens to other people, right? I was only 33 years old with no family history. How could I possibly now wear the badge of "breast cancer patient."
But sadly, I did have to wear that badge and continue to wear it today. Although the words have shifted from "patient" to "survivor", I still feel the weight of it on my heart. My soul weeps whenever I hear of someone else who is given this badge to wear, and it is because so many badges are still being handed out, that I continue to write and talk about my experience. If I can help even only one person on their journey, then it will all be worth it. My hope is to help many, but I am only one person and will try to do the best that I can.
When I think back on that time in my life, there are three things that I know now that I wish I knew back then.
1. You are not going to die immediately, or the next day, or even the day after that. There is time to breathe and think and process the information. So my advice for step number one is...continue to breathe. One breath at a time. In and out.
I am loving my second chance at life.
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