2020 — a year our world will never forget!
For me, I became a single mom of three after 20 years of marriage, and received a breast cancer diagnosis just before Christmas. Shock, fear of the unknown, and worry of how I’d handle this new challenge just six months out of my last life challenge.
I remember thanking the Nurse who called me, from the Breast Center, to give me my diagnosis. I thought, her job is not an easy one. How many times in a day or week did she have to make that call, share that life altering news with a patient?
Faith, positive thinking, exercise, leaning on friends & family for support is HUGE. Learning to accept gifts from others I did not know was something new for me. Realizing that others did care, they wanted to help me in whatever way they could, very humbling.
Scary to not know how you’re going to handle financial challenges, work, three children and your own health through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy.
Tricia’s Hope has been an outstanding support to me and my children from emotional to mental health to financial. Knowing I wasn’t alone, that someone who didn’t even know me cared about me & my family’s well-being.
With such support, I knew that I could/can handle every step of my treatment & recovery. Does getting a cancer diagnosis change your world? Yes, but after I finish fighting my fight to be cancer free, I hope to live a normal life.
I’m here to say: ask a lot of questions; have a loved one w/you at appointments; lean on your oncology team of nurses & doctors; and stay positive. I have had my days of crying like a baby, not because I was thinking, “oh, why me” but because I felt overwhelmed with the information given. Not knowing “what I didn’t know”, waiting on answers from diagnostic tests to keeping my chin up and showing my children how to stand up and fight for oneself, even when it’s tough.
Cancer is not the death sentence, it once was. If I can encourage you — be positive, ask questions, keep active, rest when your body tells you to, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It all helps keep your outlook more positive so you can brave the tough days after diagnosis, surgery, chemo, etc. I’m not quite 1/2 way through chemotherapy but I’ll handle anything that comes my way. I am grateful for my village of supporters, locally, and throughout the country.