Friday, January 18, 2008

The "C" Word

No, not THAT "C" word. The other one: CANCER.

I would be happy to be called a cunt everyday for the rest of my life if only I never had to hear my beautiful daughter say to me, "Mom, I have breast cancer."

My blood froze, every muscle in my body turned to water, and the horrible screaming I heard was actually me. We all cried. Her father, her husband, me and my daughter. Then I got drunk and threw up in her backyard.

After that we all put on our big girl panties (men included) and dealt with it. Tomorrow me, her husband, my daughter and X, along with several friends and co-workers, will once again participate in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure. Our group being none too athletic will be walking the 5K course along the intra-costal waterway. We get to meet and talk to survivors, mothers walking for daughters, sisters walking for sisters, sons walking for mothers. Whether they are walking for survivors or in memory of, every person does this walk or run for someone they love very, very much. It is why I walk so joyfully WITH my daughter - a survivor.The story down below was written right after Christina was diagnosed. She asked me to share it with all my friends - real and cyber.








A Message from Christina …


My daughter, Christina, asked me to do this – for YOU! Christina is 28 years old. In April of this year she felt a pain in her left breast. She also thought she felt a lump. The lump seemed to enlarge and decrease but the pain stayed. She made an appointment with her gynecologist. He did a quick breast exam and told her not to worry about it because there was no history of breast cancer in our family and SHE WAS TOO YOUNG TO HAVE BREAST CANCER.

By early June, the pain was becoming worse and she went to see our family doctor. The family doctor gave her a breast exam and did feel something like a mass, she doubted Christina had cancer – maybe a breast cyst, and scheduled her for a sonogram. The sonogram did show a mass, still possibly a fibrous cyst but the family doc referred her to a breast surgeon. The surgeon did another sonogram to confirm and decided to do a breast biopsy. He was pretty sure it was just an infected cyst but wanted to be sure.After the biopsy, the surgeon told me he was very relieved because when he stuck the anesthetic needle in he felt a “pop” and lots of fluid and blood began to come out. He was 98% sure at this point it was an infected cyst, he drained all the fluid he could but went ahead and did the biopsy because he just needed to be sure. She is only 28 and with no history of breast cancer he felt that cancer was not really an option but just in case, he did the biopsy.

The biopsy showed AN EXTREMELY AGGRESSIVE FORM OF BREAST CANCER.Christina has had a lumpectomy and is now going through chemotherapy and will have radiation. She has large breasts so the removal of the 4cm tumor has left her one breast scarred but it’s not too bad. She has had a port inserted for her chemo because her veins are not very large. Her hair will fall out completely by her 29th birthday, September 25, 2006. We had fun buying wigs. She bought a wig her normal hair color and style (brown and straight) but decided a blonde wig was also in order. She is also thinking about having a double mastectomy and reconstruction.


HER MESSAGE TO YOU IS – NO MATTER HOW YOUNG YOU ARE, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR FAMILY HISTORY, IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING IS WRONG MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND GET TO A DOCTOR THAT WILL TREAT YOU. DEMAND TESTS, DEMAND THAT THE DOCTOR TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.She has spoken to over a dozen women ages 21 -32 who have gone through or are going through the same thing she is and all of them were told initially – YOU ARE TOO YOUNG FOR BREAST CANCER. Don’t believe it – YOU’RE NOT!

Christina is 1 year cancer free. She feels great, has been losing weight and working with a trainer. Her hair came in the most beautiful warm brown and so curly. If I do say so myself, she is gorgeous. She has also learned that the crap you get in life isn't to be worried about. Have some fun and joy every single day. Don't save the good perfume - use it! She's a funny, smart, talented, beautiful woman. She wants to be a mother, soon. I have no doubt she will make a wonderful mother and in time, a fabulous grandmother.

14 blew out from under the bed:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I'm so glad it worked out for her! Breast cancer is in my family, my grandmother and Aunt both had it. I get checked regularly. We have a similar 'race' here, called Race for life. I love doing it. It's very emotional. Have fun tomorrow celebrating your daughters survival!

RONJAZZ said...

There are things in life that are thrown at us, that we have to overcome. I was touched by this myself...my mother had a double mastectomy in 1968...I was 14 years old. My heart goes out, my dear. Anytime you'd like to talk. And enjoy the walk!

Fex said...

Thank you for sharing this. So touching. So enlightening. I'm not finding the right words today, but I'm sending a sincere, heartfelt thank you and best wishes.

ebuffy said...

I'm very happy you and Lady C shared your family's experience wtih the world because it helps so many and also shows we aren't alone. It has me thinking and really also understanding so much. I was one of those 'too young' people...and because of what you both shared here I feel empowered to play a bigger role in my health care and that of my daughters and not just let doctors or nurses play the lead.
When in doubt get it checked out is a good motto too.
You all rock!
Erica

DJ Kirkby said...

What a beautiful story of love and hope. I am happy to hear a nice ending. We have a similar race here called 'Race for Life', I didn't do it last year becuase I broke my toe but this post has reminded me that I need to sign up for this year!

ronjazz said...

Oh by the way...my blog is back.

Anonymous said...

Well done!

M

Jackie Adshead said...

I'm so pleased everything is alright now for your daughter. A huge worry for you and your family....

Indigo said...

Just read your emotional story. I had a friend die of the 'c' word, but not through breast cancer.. in what ever form this illness drags us down, we have to fight it and grow stronger. I am so glad your daughter is well again.Keep strong for all her life to come..

Loving Annie said...

Thank you for sharing that. I am glad that Christina is well again, and this is behind her. Cancer is terifying.

Lady in red said...

I am glad for you and all your family that Christina has pulled through.

I thought you might like to read this post I wrote about the open letter I wrote after my all clear a few years ago

http://battletofindmyself.blogspot.com/2007/03/real-mothers-do-anything-for-their.html

nitebyrd said...

Vi ~ I'm glad you keep up with your mammograms. They are so important.

Ron ~ Thanks, hun. I'm SO glad you're back.

fex ~ Your words are perfect.

Buffy ~ Thank you for stopping by. You must keep yourself and Miss A happy and healthy!

dj ~ Thank you. Supporting the cause is appreciated, I know. You also know how important it is to keep people aware.

anon ~ Thanks!

Jackie ~ I was a very rough year. We all will remain positive for the rest of our lives.

indigo ~ Welcome! Thank you for coming by. I appreciate your comments.

Annie ~ Thank you. Cancer is terrifying, especially when it's your child.

Lady ~ I will read your post as I know it will be inspiring. Thanks.

James said...

Good for you and your daughter, nitebyrd. I've lost too many people to breast cancer - there is never a loud enough voice to warn about it!!

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

Thank you for joining in and contributing a square each. I can't imagine a world where a mother has to hear her daughter has cancer, but I can envision a world where a mother and daughter together join in to help kick cancer in the a$$. Your blog is so emotionally raw & honest, your heart really is Xposed here. Thank you, clearly you fight like a girl and we need YOU on our team. ~Monica