Everything can be going great in your life and all of a sudden, boom, you're hit like a ton of bricks with a life changing diagnosis. One thing my Mother always taught me, that I hold close to my heart, is to smile in the face of adversity.
This past April, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. When she delivered the news to me, she did it with great dignity and pride, as if she was laughing in the face of the big C word. Her strength was written all over her face. She knew she was going to beat it.
Now me on the other hand, I am a planner by nature. Everything I do has to be laid out perfectly. Every T is crossed and every i dotted. All backup plans in place (rain plan, sun plan, you name it). Well in this case, I had no plan, I had no idea what to say, what to do, and all I could imagine was losing my mother. She made up her mind, she was going to fight it, she was going to go through 6 rounds of Chemo, undergoe a double matectomy and come out on the other side.
I had to cope with the battle of the mind, dry my eyes, roll up my sleeves and stand alongside her as we fought it for a few long months. Chemo was a monster. It took almost all of the bubbly spirit she had in her. She became tired, and slow, and lost her appetite, her hair, her brows, her lashes.. her identity. One thing she didn't lose however, was her will to survive. With every round of chemo, that will became stronger and stronger. I could not help but get stronger with her.
We were surrounded by so much positive energy, love, and light. It made me realize that God truly is in the midst of all things.
To commemorate the long journey, and the start of the second stage of the battle (the surgery), we threw a Boob Voyage celebration the weekend before she was scheduled to have a double mastectomy. We invited 25 of her closest friends, and biggest supporters to come out, fellowship and lift her spirts before she said BYE BYE to the BOOBIES.
This night was amazing. The energy was upbeat. Everyone shared kind words, prayers, and positive energy that helped her go into surgery ready to conquer the next step. There were no tears. Just love, support, and laughter. Sometimes you have to celebrate the survivor that you know that is inside of you. Today, we are 11 months post diagnosis and Cancer Free!