Breast Cancer Blues
At last I have come to a turning point where I’ll be addressing subject matter that is not foreign to me, but that which I have no intimate experience with or knowledge of outside of reading and hearing about others unfortunate experiences; or dealing with the outcome when its tragic reach has impacted friends and distant family alike.
What I attempted to do with the news that I received yesterday was to hastily gather together my thoughts to sketch them on paper, in writing, exactly as they came to me. It went something like shock, fear, and profound sadness all at once. An overflowing of stunned emotion gripped at me, and my thoughts became paralyzed.
Yesterday is a day I will never forget.
Yesterday, my girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Exactly 7 days after I celebrated my birthday, and 19 days before we celebrate hers.
Two years ago we went through a similar process when a lump was discovered, but after a biposy was administered it was found to be a cyst that would only need to be monitored, not treated or removed.
Fast forward two years. Recently, through a self-breast examination, she felt a hard lump in her right breast. She scheduled a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out, and following the biopsy was a phone call from the doctor confirming the terrifying diagnosis. Our greatest fear was realized and the love of my life was diagnosed with cancer.
What follows a diagnosis like this is almost too unreal to be imagined, so I allowed the numbness to overcome instead. I know that as I gaze back on our wide panorama of the past we’ve shared together, I realize with everything in me that we are in for the fight of our lives, but we are in it together.
My girlfriend has beat both cervical and skin cancer in the past. I wasn’t apart of her life then, but I’ll be by her side every step of the way now. We have always been able to talk through difficult issues, and I believe that ability will carry us through the uncertain times that lie ahead.
I’m not writing for myself and my own peace of mind as much as I am writing for the both of us. I glance over our life together and there are incidents that prominently stand out in my mind, but the most memorable being that my girlfriend has always been and will always be the strongest and bravest fighter I know. She is the ultimate survivor.
This fight is no different, I tell myself, because it absolutely scares the shit out of me.
Upon hearing the news I felt as if the wind was snatched from my body and propelled elsewhere for a few moments. It was a reality check that no one could have properly prepared me for. It proves how much control over our lives we don’t really have when it all comes down to it, but that doesn’t alleviate our desire to try to master our destiny.
I could do nothing except hold my girlfriend in my arms for as long as I possibly could and let my tears fall in unison with hers.
Currently, I’m feeling a number of conflicting emotions, but I’m certain even they will change over the course of time. They’ll run the gamut over the next few weeks especially. Fear and uncertainty are tantamount at present time.
Cancer is something I can’t protect her from. I even felt guilt of the “why her, not me” variety until I realized that I was in effect being stupidly selfish because it was what it was and there was nothing I or anyone could do to change it.
I’d be lying if I said I’m not overwhelmed, but I must also follow that up by stating that the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family has been equally overwhelming. It is needed and appreciated more than any of them could know.
My current motto: 4F – Faith, Family, Friends, and Fuck Cancer.