Friday, November 8, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude - Day Eight

Upon my diagnosis of cancer, there wasn't much time to think. Things moved surprisingly fast. Kaiser was amazingly proficient at moving me from one step to the next. Within two weeks of the initial ultra-sound, I found myself in the presence of the surgeon who would ultimately perform my mastectomy. His job on that day January day was to deliver the official news, breast cancer.

By his side were two woman, a Physician's Assistance and a Nurse Practitioner, San Luu. After discussing surgery options, pros/cons with the surgeon, San Luu whisked me away and spent a better part of an hour educating me as much as possible as what to expect next. Even in my shock, it was an hour that has paid in dividends. Without that hour, I don't know that I would be here in the same position I am now. 

One of the things we discussed were the odds of survival. As she shared with me a story of a woman who was diagnosed with Stage I cancer who died within the first several years, I was astounded. As though she read my mind, she answered quickly as to why this woman failed to survive her odds. She tried to go it alone. A strong support system is instrumental in survival. 

I don't know why there is a human nature to want to go things alone. The night I knew something was horribly wrong, I sat alone at the lab waiting for an ultrasound. My sister kept calling. I ignored her calls, not knowing what to say. At that time, I didn't tell anyone. If I didn't tell anyone then maybe it wouldn't be real. My resolve didn't last long. As I walked back from the lab to my car, I slowly dialed the phone and shared my fears. 

Since that time, I have been blessed by so much support. Prayers, outpouring of love, offers of assistance. Until recently, I've wanted to go to my appointments on my own. Not because I don't want the support, but because I want my independence. With the recent setback, I've had to let that go. But it hasn't been as bad as I was afraid it would be. Perhaps one day, I'll get it back, but for now I'm okay. 

The support means more than anything else. It has been my lifesaver and for that I am forever gratitude. 

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