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.
When we rush to conclusions about someone else’s health based on how they act, we completely discount the importance of mental health, and that those struggles and demons are just as valid as illnesses. I can’t help but think about those we’ve lost to suicide: some who worked so hard to present as happy for everyone else, or to “fake it til they make it,” but who were fighting their own minds on a constant basis.
So, we did the damn thing. We did it. We kept life normal for our kids. Cancer was just a part of it all. It was just part of our parenting story. And honestly, I don’t think I’d change it. They know doctors are amazing human beings who love and take care of their mom and will do it for them if they need it. They know they have so many people who love them and are part of their team of helpers in this world. They know they can be strong if they need to be. They know that sometimes bad stuff happens. And mostly, they know they can handle life. No matter what it throws at them.