One is, being told you have cancer again.
I was living well with my closing in on three years from my bout with cervical cancer. I was finding my way out of the darkness that descended after that. Life was good,
I was told I had breast cancer in May. I join a group of over three and a half million women in the United States that have a history of breast cancer. That is a BIG a$$ clan.
Technically, I must admit, I am not going to be one breasted, I will be more like 1 and a 1/2 – I need to change the image above (I suppose).
The Amazon comes by way of my birth and childhood, in a city high in the mountains that help feed the Amazon river and its tributaries…
The Amazon also comes by way of my height, people associate tall women with the narrative of the Amazons from Greek mythology.
These Amazons were also reputed to be one breasted, some say because they were warrior women – this is up for debate.
I got here because women. Women put into place a series of experiences and events that allowed for me to get a mammogram that detected the mass – it is small and deep enough that no one can feel it.
This is from a letter I sent to the women who had helped me detect this early.
The whole thing feels a bit surreal. I think about what had to be in place for me to get my mammogram and it is rather miraculous and so heavily dependent on so many women that are in my life.
- My mom for taking me along to the nurse training clinics for women’s health for the nursing students at ASU.
- My own professional health advocacy efforts through both ASU and UofA.
- My aunt, a survivor.
- Rita who started a local Breast Cancer Fundraiser that was supported by the Junior League of Phoenix (JLP).
- Kay, who wrote a grant back in 1990, through which I would be propelled to join the JLP and continue the effort.
- Kim, whom I met through Gail (my mentor), who asked me to come help translate for Kay’s grant because I was a practicing breast cancer advocate (not an activist as someone recently referred to what I did as).
- The many women in JLP leadership who let me continue to manage and oversee the mammograms at rummage.
- Pam and Catherine for helping secure funding for the continued efforts of the mammograms at JLP rummage.
- All the women and their stories who have passed through the mammograms at rummage project for the last 17 years.
- My oncology Nurse Practitioner, whom I see for a previous cancer, that said it would be a good idea to get a mammogram back in December.
If not for the combination of the women above, I would not have found myself in the right place at the right time to detect my cancer early.
Life is still good, a bit more overwhelming than I would like, but good.
My surgery is next week.
Radiation and other will be shortly after that.
Send me good thoughts.