So when one receives news that there is a small cellular coup d’etat happening in one’s body, one turns to family and friends for support. When I told my hubby Dave, he got this glossed over look in his eyes, poked out his bottom lip and cried (Bless his heart). He then proceeded to follow me around the house for the rest of the day, I mean like every time I looked up there he was. I know he was trying to “be there” for me, and I’m sure he had a million thoughts going through his head, but after coming out of the bathroom and having him standing patiently on the other side of the door, I told him we needed to get out of the house and do something, so we went and played beach volleyball. I know he wasn’t originally a fan of the idea, but he went along and we ended up having a lot of fun and it was just the distraction/outlet I needed.
I called my mom, after letting me know in a firm mothering tone that if I was joking, I was not funny, she assured me that the medical staff were obviously incompetent. I needed to seek a second opinion, and that whatever it was, was a fluke and nothing to be worried about. I remember when the pathologist called me to give me more details about the results, it took all my strength not to tell him what my mother thought about his skills, and maybe he should run some more tests because Mommy said you’re wrong dude!
I waited to tell my sister until I had regained my composure, not because I didn’t think she could handle the news, but I just didn’t want to call her blubbering all over the phone while she was on vacation. She had a similar response, I definitely needed a second opinion and there was a high possibility that the medical professionals have no idea what they’re talking about. She also was having none of my attempts at jokingly discussing my potential boob augmentation.
And so it went, one by one I notified my tribe and/or texted my prayer warriors when I was too shaken to speak on the other end of the phone.
I was all like… “Family and friends, I have the cancer”.
And instead of a lot of commiserating, that’s too bads, head shakes, and clichés.
My tribe was like, “Get ready for battle”.
Something you may not know about me, I love receiving mail. Real mail, letters and packages, not grocery flyers and credit card offers, truly make me giddy. Like clockwork on the days I would feel a little overwhelmed, an Amazon package was on my doorstep. First, my sister sent cancer wellness cookbooks. (She gets me, I love me some food and cooking.)
Then my bestie Kashawn sent me a sweet prayer angel figurine and an encouraging plaque. I got so many texts with encouragement and,also just what I needed, lots of silliness. I can’t even count how many times in a two-week period between my sister and my friend Bethany I giggled myself into stitches. Laughter is medicine y’all and these two did their part. I experienced everyone pouring their resources into me, my healthy nutritious friends gave me diet tips, I got devotional recommendations, websites for research, and the list goes on. There has literally not been one day that I haven’t gotten a call or text from someone praying for me and or checking on me. Makes a girl feel loved.
One of the things I did that I am super excited about was collect all of my close family and friends favorite Bible verses. I even found out there is a patron saint for breast cancer.
I keep this little book in my purse and take it with me pretty much all the time. When my mind starts to wander, I can pull it out and be calmed, inspired, encouraged, and as I look at the names of my friends with their chosen verse, I am reminded that I’ve got a rather amazing group of women standing and believing with me as I navigate my way through this journey.