“I am putting this out there because I could use some encouragement. Sorry this one is such a doozy. Tomorrow I find out what the abnormal mass in my breast is (benign or malignant). Friday I went in for a MRI guided biopsy and have been mindlessly going about my weekend trying to not think of the worst case scenarios but it so hard. The first thing on my mind is my two kids and husband. The second thing on my mind is the long list of descendents I come from that have had cancer (this includes my mother and grandmother and great grandmother, all of whom had breast cancer). Additionally my 47-year-old cousin died just two weeks ago from cancer and so I think my doomsday attitude is a result of me witnessing the sad misery that all these amazing people went through. Cancer can literally go “cuss” itself. I am so tired and so distraught over all the amazing people I know that have been burdened by it. Sorry to be a Debbie downer. So anyways, I guess I could just use some insight into positivity. I haven’t told anyone, except my husband because my family is still very raw from my cousin passing away.
Paz y amor,
Hoping to Beat the Odds”
Dear Hoping To Beat The Odds,
My eldest wombfruit used to be terrified of the dark. I don’t mean terrified like all kids are terrified of the dark, I mean screaming-at-the-bottom-of-the-stairs-clutching-the-banister-refusing-to-go-upstairs-without-a-light-on afraid. She was convinced that the darkness was going to eat her, sneak up on her just as she got near it, and trap her in its desperate, depraved clutches forever rendering her unable to find daylight again. To her, you see, darkness was the end. It was infinite and, if it touched her and she allowed it to envelop her, she would most certainly die.
Your family history, your cousin’s death, cancer; these things are your darkness and they’re clutching at the wisps of fabric trailing behind as you try, desperately, to outrun them, but you’ve already convinced yourself they’re going to get you. That you’ll falter, misstep, and they’ll win. So I want you to stop running, sweet pea. I want you to turn the fuck around and stare down this hallway we call Breast Cancer. I want you to shout into the vortex: GO FUCK YOURSELF CANCER! Because, Sweet Pea, that’s what cancer can do. It can go fuck itself.
Tomorrow you find out one thing and one thing only; whether or not the mass in your breast is cancerous or not. You find out about a tumor. So take a hold of the things you’re most afraid of – leaving your kids without a mother, making your husband a single dad, becoming another young statistic – and put them in a suitcase. Then put that suitcase inside another one and ship it to Portugal. Or the Maldives. Or somewhere far the fuck away from you. I want you to let go of these things. They are questions you’ll never know the answers to ahead of time. None of us are afforded that luxury darling girl, so obsessing over them is as pointless as a Pauly Shore movie.
These things, these fears, are not what’s waiting for you in that doctor’s office tomorrow, sweet pea. No matter how much you think they are. The only thing waiting there for you is clarity. Answers. A game plan. So try as hard as you can, darling, to remind yourself of this. That as of tomorrow you have a much clearer course than any that lies before you today. Tomorrow you’ll know if you get to truly exhale, or if you’re going to have to fight like hell. But either way tomorrow means there’s light in your hallway. And light is always, always a good thing.
I wish I could promise you that everything is going to be fine, but I can’t. No one can. But I can tell you that I hope beyond all hope that your test results show absolutely no signs of malignancy. Now or ever. That you remain one of the 7 out of 8 women who won’t get breast cancer in their lifetime. Because that’s the statistic you need to remember today. Not the one, sweetheart, the SEVEN.
So if you don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, Sweet Pea, don’t be one. Fuck negativity. Send it packing. Shift your perspective and face your fear, sweetheart. Then and only then will you be able to use your senses and hatch a brilliant plan to defeat them. No matter what happens tomorrow, no matter what the doctor says, or what you think is about to happen, what’s waiting on the other side of that hallway, my darling girl, is brilliant, beautiful, glorious I-can-see-clearly-now-the-rain-is-gone light.
Take a deep breath, step into the room, and go bathe yourself in it.
I love your attitude, Athena. You are an amazing person.
The results came back, it was benign, a fibroid mass. Thank you for your endless inspiration. Thank you for your beautiful mind, insane skills, and bountiful spirit. Hugs from a distance. Paz y amor.
PS. I already commented the same thing a second ago, but it posted as you because I was still logged in after fixing your email. ;) So if you get a weird email notification from yourself, it was really me. But now this is me. #oops