I started my day in a fog. I didn’t sleep at all. I tossed and turned all night. I think I was on autopilot from the get go. I went to work and just floated about my day. I had even forgotten it was Valentines’ til I had seen all the flowers and balloons later in my day. It just didn’t seem real. My nurse navigator got in touch with me, ready to start all appointments. I still can’t believe this is happening. How can this be? I don’t feel sick at all. I don’t feel like I have cancer. There has to be a mistake. I feel fine. I just have pain. This can’t be real. I still need to tell my family. My son and my brothers. Oh how I hate giving them bad news. Maybe I can just do this without them knowing. Why bring them down? I’ll tell them when it’s over. Why worry my son? I really hate this!
Oh cancer, how I hate you and I’ve only known you 1 day
I get home. I’m soo happy to see my son, yet so very sad. He has no idea what’s happening. I don’t have the heart to turn his world upside down.
I call my Auntie, she can tell something is wrong. She asks how I’m doing and with a big sigh, “not too good”.
Me, ” my news isn’t good.” This is the first time I let myself feel what was happening. “my biopsy came back positive for cancer”.
She was very calm with me when I told her. She didn’t freak out, she just stayed calm for me. As we talked, I finally let myself cry as I told her how scared I was and that I hadn’t told my brothers or Dominic yet. We talked about it, all the things they had told me, things I hadn’t even wrapped my mind around and things I still didn’t understand. She reminded me how important it was to tell my brothers. That no matter what, they would stand behind me. And by no means would I want to do this alone. I just didn’t know how. I actually agonized over it. Telling them. I hate giving them bad news. The last time I gave them bad news, I was telling them that our Father had passed. That broke my heart in pieces and this was just as bad.
She gave me that ‘Auntie’ pep talk. Told me to cry it all out, have a meltdown, throw things, whatever I needed to do. Then when I was done with all of that, it was time to roll up my sleeves, put up my dukes and start fighting. They would all be behind me and we would get through this together. She pulled me out of that fog I was in and made me realize how stupid I was to think I could try and do this alone. Why would I? I need ALL of my loved ones! This isn’t gonna be easy. This is gonna be a battle. I got off of the phone with her, took a deep breathe and called my oldest brother and then my younger. One by one I gave them my awful news and cried with both of them. They too couldn’t believe what I had to tell them. I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. I still needed guidance, I needed reassurance, I needed everything and I still needed my parents. I needed them to tell me like parents always do, “everything is going to be okay. ” Oh how scared I was. I finally just cried and let myself feel everything that was happening. The reality of it all hit me like a train going 100 mph.
After a real good cry-out, I pulled myself together, wiped my splotchy face, walked over to the other room and told my son that we needed to talk. I was about to give him the worst news he will probably EVER hear from me.
He took one look at me and immediately knew something was wrong. My voice was low, my face was serious and this scared him. I told him that all the doctors appointments that I had been going to were for good reason. I told him about the pain I had been having and that I went to check it out and what they found was cancer. He had the same reaction I did. Disbelief! For several moments he didn’t say a word. He stayed quiet. “What?!” “You have cancer?!”
Me, “I do, but your Mama is tough, a fighter and we’re gonna get through this together. For you, I won’t give up. We’ll make it.” I found amazing strength within myself when it came time to tell him, for I was very calm. I didn’t want to brutally scare him. I barely even cried as I got the news out to him. I hugged him and said everything will be okay. It’s just gonna get super crazy. I told him about treatment, chemo. Everything I was gonna have to go through and it wasn’t until this moment he realized it was breast cancer. His mouth dropped open and he looked at me like he was searching for answers. He stayed surprisingly calm, just in shock. We talked a bit more then he wanted to be alone. I let him be. Then, I went on to tell my nephews. My 2 oldest nephews are like my other sons’. We are very close and they too needed to know what was going on with their Auntie. They were shocked!!
Once Dominic let the news sink in, it hit him hard. He walked back into the room, broken hearted and sobbing with tears and my heart just shattered. He cried and cried. We cried together. We hugged and cried. My son doesn’t ever cry, ever. So I knew he was scared. I was scared. Really scared. I felt lost. I had no idea what was gonna become of our lives. Me, holding him tight, ” Everything will be okay, I won’t give up. I will fight with everything in me. You ARE worth everything I’m gonna have to go through. I won’t ever leave you, I love you!!”
My nephews came over and made the night a bit more bearable. I had my son and my nephews. I cried my eyeballs out all that evening. When they finally left, my house seemed to echo.
We got ready for bed. My son came to sleep with me. We didn’t say anything more about that dreadful topic, we just lay in bed in the dark. We laid in bed and we held hands. We held hands until HE fell asleep and was off in a peaceful slumber.
Oh how I love my son. I will do anything for him. ” Sleep good, my Lovey. I love you!!”
You BASTARD ( cancer )!!! I HATE what you’re doing to my life!!