Once upon a time I went for my first mammogram (July 2, 2018). They called me back to further examine my right breast, this is pretty normal in my family so I wasn’t concerned. At the end of that appointment they asked me to come back for a biopsy. Again pretty “normal” for my family so I go in for the most painful 45 minutes ever and get a biopsy and then pack my bags and embark on a road trip with my parents.
The following week in Cody Wyoming I get a call and the radiologist who did my biopsy I hear her say ” So you have cancer blah blah blah stage zero blah blah blah Doctor will call you to set up appointment blah blah blah cancer blah blah blah in ducks carcinoma blah blah blah are you ok, are you safe?”
In my best most normal voice I assure her I am ok, I am with my parent on vacation, do I need to turn around and come home now? No she says and repeats the surgeons office will be in contact.
I hang up. I simultaneously shut down and turn into a fucking warrior. I can’t hug my parents. I can’t cry. I guess I’m in shock. I don’t even know. I just know that I will be ok and that I am about to embark on a marathon of sorts. My parents did good and they didn’t push.
I call my husband back in Seattle and what comes out of my mouth will eventually change the direction of my life. “I got cancer because I am not painting” I repeat the stage zero and something about ducks and that I will schedule with the surgeon soon and are there any days he can’t go with me.
From here I have a series of 9 months of serendipitous and profound moments of healing, waiting, sleepless nights, changing diets, lotions and potions and more.
I am thankful I was in nature for the start of this journey, I do feel the rocks and trees and waters and moments of awe and profound beauty helped hold me up and fill me up for the chaos that was to come.
My treatment was a breeze compared to many but one things I recently learned about myself or my journey is that I can say “I had it easy” but if you tell me this exact same thing I may bite your face off. Recently a friend said this and while she is 100% totally correct-I got mad. I got oh so mad. Because while my journey from the outside was “easy” it still fucking sucked, I still endured copious amounts of stress, exhaustions, parts of myself literally turning black and falling off, and so much more stuff that continues to this day. There was ABSOLUTELY NO PART OF THIS THAT WAS EASY. No one who receives a diagnosis of potential death (which is basically what cancer is) has it easy. Our journey’s are our own and they wreck you. Please hold your commentary and just listen and support and bring things to laugh at.