In August 2015, at just 40 years old, I was diagnosed with a form of breast cancer called invasive ductal carcinoma. What followed has been an epic journey. Two surgeries and six rounds of chemo for a total of seven months of treatment. But more importantly, a rediscovery of my true spirit.
My therapist encouraged me to write throughout my treatments in order to process my feelings, but for months it seemed too daunting and scary to put pen to paper. Then in February as I was staring down my final 2 rounds of chemo, I was crushed with regret. Why hadn’t I documented my experience for my girls? What if I forgot all of the important details?? What would I tell them when they asked, “Why were you bald again, Mommy?”
A wave of relief washed over me as I realized that I had in fact been documenting my journey the entire time. I had faithfully posted to Instagram and Facebook starting a couple of weeks after my diagnosis. But for every post that I shared, there were pages of thoughts, feelings, and ideas I kept to myself. So here I am, sharing it all.
I hope that whether you have been handed your own cancer diagnosis or not, suffered a health-related setback or not, faced your own mortality or not, you will find my story simultaneously touching, uplifting, honest, resourceful, and hilarious!
If you ever want to share your thoughts, you can find me at iam20gr8 (at) gmail (dot) com.
My husband’s research team was featured in this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Heroes campaign here in Boise. (He’s the handsome fella in the middle.) They have been working for the past five years on a cancer detection device. You can read more about what they do HERE and HERE.
Me and Doug Petcash.