Before I was actually diagnosed with breast cancer, I honestly didn’t know much about it. I would see the pink ribbons, the bald-headed women talking and the horrible pictures of women who had lost their breasts and of course all the walks, runs and fund-raising events. But nothing ever really resonated with me, other than the things that I could do to prevent it. I figured I was pretty safe because NO ONE in my whole entire life had had cancer. But once you are diagnosed a WHOLE other world opens up and you begin to learn a lot, really fast.
Having watched the movie “Five” on Lifetime TV that depicts five different breast cancer stories and the impact that this disease has on everyone, including those around you, I have come to the conclusion that this disease isn’t “it” for me. I probably won’t know what “it” will be, but breast cancer will NOT cause my demise.
The movie starts with the story of a little girl wondering why her mom is in her room and wanting to know why all those people are in her home. It’s set in 1969, at a time when children were seen and not heard and neither were they told anything about “grown-up stuff” apparently. My heart went out to that child and I couldn’t imagine having my daughter in such a confused state when there was something obviously wrong with me.
The first thing I did was tell my family, including my daughter and sister. They have actually been my biggest supporters and cheering section, next to my husband, who is number one among all! I can’t say enough for my sisters-in-law and for the amazing support that I have received from my friends, subscribers to my newsletter, listeners to my radio show, the Diets In Review staff (whom I originally created this blog for) and audience, and total strangers who send me prayers and great vibes. Thank you all.
The little girl, Charlotte, grows up to become an oncologist and to help the subjects of the other four stories through their breast cancer battles, as well as struggling with her own diagnosis. The most poignant scene of the movie, to me, was when Charlotte reaches her 5-year survival mark and goes through the survival ceremony of “kissing the wall,” a wall of glass tiles she created in tribute to her mother’s battle. One of the storyline’s subjects was noticeably absent from the celebration. Nothing is said as to what happened to her or even when she passed, but I felt a huge sense of sadness that she was “gone.” But life continues on, Charlotte kisses the wall and all involved celebrate.
It was at that moment that I realized that I know that this won’t be my end. When I was first diagnosed, I was so scared. It was mainly fear of the unknown, not death. I can’t say for honest sure that I don’t fear death, but I accept it as part of life. Who can really tell you about it anyway? Those who have already passed on really aren’t telling a whole lot. It’s like a secret club that when you’re in, you’re in. The rest of us just speculate.
Now that I’ve gone through the surgery, started reconstruction, and put two chemo treatments under my belt, I feel empowered and really certain that it won’t be breast cancer that marks my end. But until that time comes, I will live my life to the fullest, enjoying every moment and trying my hardest NOT to sweat the small stuff. Besides everything else is gravy.