Today marks five years since my surgery. I jokingly called it my boobiversary yesterday. But it’s truly the anniversary of a bold decision. Five years free of worry, stress, concern and cancer. Honestly when I step back and think about it…that time of my life feels surreal. I hardly remember what it was like. I have flashes of my recliner I recovered in. I remember outfits that I wore that would conform to having drains. I had drains…oh my…I do remember that. I remember my mom showering me. I barely remember my children during that time. Every time I get ready to get in the shower though…I remember. There are some serious scars on my body. I have to constantly remind myself that the scars are worth it. And this year…it hasn’t been hard. Two of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer this year. I have to remind myself to thank myself….to thank science…to thank my brave surgeons…to thank my incredibly supportive husband. I’m so grateful for all of the pictures that pop up on facebook memories this time of year. One of the biggest things I learned through this experience is the importance of your village. There are dozens of men and women who stepped up to help my family during that time. It literally brings me to tears to even mention it because it wouldn’t have mattered how bold or gutsy or whatever I was…if I had not the support of my community I could NOT have gone through with my procedure. The quilt my friends all put together for me to take was literally one of the best gifts I have ever received. The bins outside my door that people just came and filled up with food FOR A MONTH. Friends who took my children so that I could rest….know that I think of this every time I see you. The Bozards who let me live at their home, aka paradise, for two weeks! Two weeks they fed me, loved on me and my mom and let me overtake half their house while recovering from a seriously major operation. And my mom…without her this would not have been possible. I am forever grateful. Forever. What a journey we are all on. To my friends and family…I love you. Thank you.
February 1, 2017 by Julie Moon
Category The Journey | Tags: , blessings, BRCA, breast cancer, charleston, decisions, emotions, family, friends, recovery, waiting
Julie, I ‘knew’ you when you were little and your mom was coming to my La Leche League group in Raleigh. 27 years ago, I ‘knew’ a similar journey when I was diagnosed with two breast cancers pre-menopausally. Later, I reconnected with your mom as she took the bold steps that provided the possibility of important knowledge to your family. I rejoice with you that you can look back on a tough decision and be grateful, even though it must not have felt like something to be grateful for at the time. Similarly, I thought my two diagnoses a black cloud in my life although that led me on a most satisfying path – bringing patient perspectives to the cancer research community for a decade. I wish you only good in your life ahead.
Thank you so much Barbara. My mom has so many wonderful things to say about you and the influence you had on her as a mother. I appreciate your kind words.
My brave daughter, who faces things so courageously, I love you.