When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38 years old I was stunned. I didn’t have a family history, my overall health was good. Yeah, I was overweight (and still am) but if everybody in this country that was overweight got breast cancer we’d have an epidemic.
For a while I went to “I’m going to die” land and there was nothing rational that could be said to bring me back.
I had a brief visit in “This isn’t fair, what did I do to deserve this” land.
Throughout much of my treatment I alternated between “This won’t beat me” land and “Better me than her” land.
If you haven’t already read I have young kids, one of which is my beautiful daughter. She was 17 months old when I was diagnosed. Take a minute and let that sink in, 17 months old. I know breast cancer is horrible for everyone who deals with it but I was changing diapers. I know women who were diagnosed while they were pregnant. But more times than I can count I looked at my daughter and said the silent mother’s prayer “Let me do this so she doesn’t have to.”
Well turn that around. I’m a young cancer survivor without a family history. My mother is young and has not had breast cancer. How many times has she asked herself, “Why her, Why not me?” It is our nature as mothers to want to protect our children. Mama bears. Some of us do it too much, some not enough, but no mother wants their child to suffer no matter how old they are. My mom’s birthday was this past Thursday and today is Mother’s Day. My Mom and I had some disagreements when I was in treatment. I couldn’t see it then but now I understand. She was just being a mama bear. It’s in our genes, our nature and there’s not a thing we can do about it. And now I understand.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.