The day after I shared my diagnosis and asked for my friends to rally around me, I realized that the response was grander than I ever would have expected. I asked and they delivered – words of encouragement, love, inappropriate jokes, offers of help, reminders of friendship near and far, new and old. I was so immediately bolstered by these gestures that I decided to “train” for my upcoming surgery – Operation Get It Out.
I had exactly 2 weeks.
You see, I was teetering between hiding and being seen, feeling ashamed and feeling proud, being a victim and being a warrior. I felt like I was wearing a new label, one that was emblazoned across my forehead. I was the one who revealed it, but I didn’t want to be defined by it. The problem was I was defining myself by it. I was struggling to figure out who I was with it. I needed to tip the scales in my favor and feel in control for the first time in 2 weeks. I had been running and mountain biking all summer, but this was different. Now I had a team behind me.