If I’ve learned anything since my diagnosis, it’s that there are two ways to spend my time:
On things I need to do.
On things I want to do.
If something doesn't fall into one of those categories, it’s gotta go.
When I received my breast cancer diagnosis last year, I didn’t know anyone else under 40 with breast cancer. I reached out to women 10, 15, 20, 30 years older than me. And thank goodness I did - they were incredibly supportive and continue to serve as some of my biggest cheerleaders.
But there’s something about being 34. Being told that you’re part of the 5% of women under 40 who receive the diagnosis. Having toddlers and kids who can’t grasp why you can’t get off the couch. Debating on how and when you work (aka attempt to lead a normal life) while your spouse makes up the difference in every other aspect of life.
There’s a bond that forms around women in these kind of circumstances. I like to think of it as the club none of us wanted to join, but I am so happy we’ve found each other and we’re all here to cheer each other on.
In this post you’ll meet the four amazing breast cancer survivors that I get to call my friends. It was like a domino effect - one introduction led to another and we all came together over our diagnoses and similar situations in life.
A post by Carl.
We started 2018 not too different from the last handful of years: Jennifer at home with the girls and me in Los Angeles for work. We had our list of things we wanted to get done in 2018, along with the places we wanted to visit and the people we wanted to see.
In January, we purchased tickets for a concert that would take place in July - The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks in Denver. We planned to fly out and meet our good friends Patrick and Christy for a long weekend of relaxation and music.
One of the most difficult things about breast cancer can be feelings of isolation and loneliness. While breast cancer will happen to 1 in 8 women, it’s very often that a women is diagnosed and doesn’t know other people who have been through the treatments.
There are some people reading this blog who think, “Your pathology came back clean! You’re cancer-free! It’s all done now!”
Ah, what a delightful thought – that somehow chemo was a true magic wand and the past six months were just a tiny blip in the 2018 year.
I finished chemo on July 26.
I had a bilateral double mastectomy exactly four weeks later on August 23.
Two big ticket items off our increasingly shrinking cancer to-do list!
I started writing a blog post that walked you through my day in surgery, and you’ll hear about that eventually.
I decided to switch gears after receiving a call on Monday.
It's only been three weeks - three weeks since we confirmed the mass, the diagnosis, the treatment plan. And yet, here I am completely in awe of more community, answered prayers, and a cheering team that most people in their lifetime will never have the privilege to experience.
Yes, this is truly a privilege.
Instead, I want you to know why I feel so fortunate today. It's something you need to chew on. It's something I need to intentionally remember every day.