I'm nearing the end of radiation treatment. Started out with having 33 and am now down to 4. Four more to go and I'm finally done with treatment. Wow. It's been a long stretch...
My life changed late last June... Having been diagnosed with Early Stage Triple Negative breast cancer I had no idea I was in for the ride of my life... Thankfully I caught it early - but it was the start of a journey I never dreamed I would be a part of. (But then again who does?)
I attended a "Look Good Feel Beautiful" Class held by the American Cancer Association (one I highly recommend). I went the day before my lumpectomy surgery was scheduled. There I was, one of only three women attending a session on how you could make yourself look good - hence, feel good while undergoing treatment. I was the youngest woman there, there was a woman from England (Dana-Farber is world wide reknown with women from all walks of life coming for treatment). There was a woman from China there and then there was me. These women had obviously gone through surgery, and chemotherapy as they were completely bald and without eyelashes. I felt a little awkward being the only one there who hadn't begun. But they were so kind. Looking at me compassionately and encouraging ME. Telling me I was going to do fine! There I sat with my curls down my shoulders, everything on me intact and THEY were encouraging ME. One of the leaders of the Class reached into her purse and handed me an embroidered cross that someone had made. Encouraging me and letting me know that God was with me. (The picture is below):
|An embroidered cross given to me at the start of my breast cancer journey...|
Seven months later, I'm at the end of my treatment journey. Only four more radiation treatments to go. There I am in my hospital gown, sitting in the waiting room with four other women also waiting to go through their daily radiation treatment. We've gotten to know each other a bit. There are those that are there for different types of cancer treatment - not all are there for breast cancer. An older woman sits with her daughter - I've seen them coming in for about two weeks now. They are Cape Verdean (Portuguese) like me. Only my family is American Cape Verdean. The mother must be in her eighties. Doesn't speak any english. Her neck is all red from radiation. She smiles warmly at each of us every time she comes in. Her daughter, grown obviously taking her there each day does speak English. Her mother is there for esophageal cancer. She is undergoing radiation. Today is her last day. We all rejoice with her mom. There is a bond that only those of us who know what she has been through share. I get choked up. I congratulate her and in true Portuguese fashion give her a warm and gentle hug. Her daughter and I exchange contact information and then her daughter reaches into her purse, and hands me something so precious and beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. You see, she lives in Oklahoma. She hands me this beautiful detailed rock that is in the shape of a rose. I look at it astonished. It's beautiful. She hands me a little card with the rose shaped rock that reads like this:
|Barite Rose Rock|
Official State Rock of Oklahoma