December 3, 2009
Today is the first anniversary of the words delivered to me from my OB/GYN Dr. Stephanie Reich regarding my breast biopsy performed on December 1, 2008. “This is cancer” she told me.
My first reaction was ‘I KNEW IT!’ but one doesn’t get an A for intuition in this class. The doctor that performed the biopsy had told me casually ‘This doesn’t look like cancer’ when he was performing the ultrasound guided core needle biopsy. Thanks for the false comfort pal. All that seems like a lifetime ago and indeed it is.
I am embarking on a new career with new hair, new boobs, and an old work wardrobe that I can thankfully still fit into after more than eleven years and four children. My days are crazy – there are 10,000 balls in the air with several dropping beside, behind, and front of me but my problem solving skills and adaptability have never been greater, despite six months of chemo. I am, as Natasha Bedingfield writes in her song ‘Unwritten’ living my life with arms wide open. Instead of cursing the hot flashes, I now use the time it takes for them to peak in a pool of cold sweat to pray – giving thanks to God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon me and asking for guidance to use what I have experienced to serve others.
I recently met with Bill Bastas, photographer and author of the book ‘The Smile Never Fades’ (www.thesmileneverfades.com) to tell him about my new career – bringing life insurance and financial planning assistance to breast cancer survivors and their families and he was very enthusiastic about helping me, as he had lost his own wife to breast cancer several years before. He commented that I have a lightness about my personality – a spirited aspect that is both hopeful and positive to be around. I told him it comes from the realization that every day is a gift. Silently, he nodded his assent.