By Cat Phillips In 2010 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then breast cancer in 2011. I went through chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, as well as holistic and integrative treatments. The lymphoma quickly healed, but breast cancer continued to haunt me. I experienced several recurrences which resulted in excessive surgeries, treatments and cosmetic procedures.
I’ll never be able to replace what has been lost, but I have made new connections, built relationships, taken risks, listened more to my needs and taken time for myself. Loss is tough, but since moving past the denial, anger and depression (with a little help from therapy and medication), I have gotten to enjoy an amazing life that I have been blessed with each day.
So I Found Lump… At the beginning of February this year whilst lying on the bed watching a bit of telly after work, I found a lump. Not sure why I even checked, but I must have felt uncomfortable. I was rubbing along the bottom of my breast, close to my ribs, where the underwired bit goes on your bra. It was not a big lump, and to be honest I had to check a few times. Then began this ridiculous back and forth from one breast to the other to see if I could feel the same on the other side, I could not.
People think that your life just goes back to normal or you pick up where you left off once you’ve finished treatment. You might think this too, because this is the part no one warns you about. No one prepares you for the stark reality of survivorship. So, you have absolutely no idea what you are doing and are just trying to figure it out as you go. This is a lonely place to be.
On Feb 28, 2020, I had a truly unbelievable experience: I made a sign asking my favorite baseball player on the San Diego Padres to sign my newly bald Chemo head AND HE DID! The idea came when I realized my bald head was basically a ball. A baseball. And baseballs get signed.