Now that we had the diagnosis that I indeed had breast cancer, the next big concern was before us. How the heck were we going to tell people? Especially our beautiful, sweet, innocent children. We decided that we wouldn’t say anything to the kids until after we saw the surgeon. We hoped to have some more answers after speaking with him at the Women’s Breast Health Center a few days later.
|My Dad & Sheila with my babies - Gore Bay 2006|
The day after getting the results was a typical August day in the summer of 2006. Except everything was different now. At one point the kids were off playing with friends and I was doing some tidying up in the house and I started to cry again. Just out of nowhere. How could I possibly be physically feeling exactly the same as I did when I was tidying up in the house yesterday doing the very same activities except that now today I knew that I had cancer? How could this happen? Yesterday I was me and today I am still me but this me has breast cancer. I stood in my house yesterday and was fine and today I stand in my house and I’m cancer-woman. Yesterday was the last day of my life “before cancer”. Today is the first day of my life with cancer.
Thankfully Mike totally got what I was saying and took me in his arms and we both just stood there holding each other and it all seemed so very surreal. We both knew that we had to start telling people. Mike called his mother to tell her but I couldn’t bring myself to listen to their conversation. I wanted him to have that time alone with her. I knew that this must be killing him and that he needed someone to talk to.
I had to call my Dad and Sheila (his wonderful wife, my kids’ Grandma, my sweet stepmother). I also had to call my Grandma. Those were the hardest two phone calls that I had to make. I couldn’t put it off any longer but I just didn’t want to do it. I kept looking at the phone like if I touched it my hands would be badly burned and scarred but at the same time I really wanted to just grab the phone and get it over with.
|My Grandma & I - Gore Bay 2006|
(obviously after a day at the beach for me)
It ripped my heart out to have to tell my family. We had all suffered such an incredible loss when my Mom died that to have to tell them that I had breast cancer was extremely difficult for me to do. I knew that my Dad and my Grandma would try to be brave in front of me but that they would both worry terribly. I hated to do that to them. As a parent I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would be for me if something happened to one of my children. Now I had to do that to my Dad. I wished so bad that I could talk to my Mom about what to do.
I had to make the phone calls. So I did something that I was getting good at. I took a few deep breaths, swallowed back the lump in my throat, and made some decisions. I finally picked up the phone and called my Dad. That conversation and the next one with my Grandma are now a bit of a blur. I did it though and somehow I got through it. I’ll never know how.
How Can I Tell You? - Cat Stevens
Well it has taken me awhile to get this latest post out. With Christmas preparations and lots of hockey, I found that the days have just slipped by. I hope to have more time during the holidays to prepare some more posts. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, good health and lots of happiness!