|Thibault Clan including Marie - Disney 2006|
After we had told our children and our parents about the breast cancer diagnosis, we had to turn our attention to telling the rest of our family. Since my brother and his family were away on a camping trip I was able to put that off for a few more weeks until they came home. I didn’t want to call them and ruin their vacation and I really wanted to tell them in person. Trevor is my only brother and we had already lost our Mom. On top of that our Dad had gone through surgery for prostate cancer in October of 1999. I was really glad to have some time before I had to tell my brother because I was kind of dreading it.
|Louis Hynes - Winter 2003|
Also, my brother’s wife, Deidra, had just lost her Dad around this time. Cancer again. In fact it was when Trevor had called to tell me that Louis had passed away that I found the lump. When my daughter found out that I had discovered the lump in my breast by accident while I was on the phone with Trevor that night, she said, “Mommy, it’s kind of like Louis saved your life”. I suppose he did. That is quite remarkable. Deidra’s Mom, Marie, was also going through her own breast cancer journey at the time. Anyway, Trevor and Deidra had more than their fair share of tragedy that year and I was not looking forward to adding more to it. Damn cancer is everywhere.
I had to call my sisters-in-law. First I called Mike’s sister, Christine, in Boston to tell her. She cried so much and I felt so bad. I just hated telling people and having them cry because I didn’t want to make anyone feel sad. It was just a crappy thing to have to do but I knew that once I told her then I could move on to the next person and maybe it would get easier. When you love someone, especially family, it really is hard to tell them things that you know will upset them. Mike’s family has always been so good to me over all these years and Christine has really been like my own sister. I never had sisters growing up but now as an adult I had four sisters-in-law and two step-sisters.
Although my brothers-in-law are great guys, it seemed more natural to me to call their wives. Anyway, I made it through the first phone call and then I had to call my other two sisters-in-law in Montreal. I love these amazing ladies dearly and I was not looking forward to these calls. Although Mike had told his Mom and Dad, I called them anyway. After all those calls I was emotionally drained.
|Tarnowski Clan - Spring 2006|
All of our brothers and sisters wanted to know what they could do. I asked them to keep making sure that Mike was okay. This was going to be very hard for him and he already had so much on his plate. I needed to know that the family would watch out for him. He would pretend he was okay so that I wouldn't worry. But I was going to worry about him regardless so I was thankful for the support from our brothers and sisters.
So that about did it then for our siblings. Now almost all of our family knew and we would inform some friends when we had more information. It was just a matter of time and readiness.
We Are Family - Sister Sledge
(joined by Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Pat Benatar,
Salt-N-Pepa, Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus)