In Addition –

When in the room, after the doctor (who is absolutely lovely) revealed the news, we were waiting for the nurse to come in and set up my mom’s next round of exams. Upon looking at a poster, I saw a bug on the wall, climbing…climbing…climbing.

Of course, neither my mom or I would touch it, so we grabbed tissues and gave them to my dad. He smashed the bug on, of all places, a poster for breast cancer.

“Uh, dad,” I said, “you’re totally touching stage four melanoma breasts.”

And for some reason, it was the funniest thing in the world. My dad touching a poster of breasts.

And we laughed and laughed and laughed. And it was the best I’ve ever felt, despite it all. Because nothing, absolutely nothing, beats that first communal laugh after something tragic happens.


Whisper It

I’ve become a statistic. Not by choice, or because of something I’ve done, but because of something I’m going through. Or, more so, my mother is going through.

Before Christmas, my mom found a lump on her breast. Due to the holiday, she couldn’t get it looked out for another week; the emotional tension surrounding our festivities was almost visible. After her mammogram , doctors realized that although the mass was small, it didn’t look good. Last week she had a biopsy and today we got the results back.

As it turns out, my mom does in fact have breast cancer.

It’s so weird to type. I almost didn’t, as if jotting it down would make it come true. And yet, it is, so I could type it all I want and nothing will change. I don’t even have to whisper the word; the gods have already heard. It’s weird, almost surreal. A situation you hear others go through, but never someone you know. You’re too strong, too healthy, too invincible.

But we aren’t, are we?

On the positive side, the cancer is only 1/2 a centimeter big. This week she’s going for a full round of tests to see if it’s spreading. We find out the results next Friday. Thankfully, since it’s so small, if it isn’t spreading, she’ll have a lumpectomy shortly after and then radiation for a few days – and then she’ll be fine. If it is spreading (fingers crossed it isn’t), she’ll have to go through chemo, but still – it’ll be a simple lumpectomy. It’s not in our genes, so hopefully this will be it.

My mom is…okay. She’s optimistic, and not looking for sympathy. And we’re all extremely hopeful. The doctor sounded very positive about everything, and she even said my mom would be fine by my wedding (of course, the only thing on her mind). There’s no need to rush right now since it’s so small, but we’re really hoping to get rid of the mass as soon as possible. Then, happiness.

When we received the news, we all acted as we normally do during such times. My mom was a bit hysterical. My dad froze, not knowing how to react to a situation he couldn’t fix. I took notes, asked questions, got specifics. We’re going through the motions, taking everything step by step.

Because what else is there to do?

My mom will be okay, I know she will be. I have high hopes for everything. It’s just a lot to deal with right now. We’ve got things under control, and even the doctor said she’ll be wearing her best slinky dress by September. I swear she’s trying to upstage me then…and obviously I’m a okay with that. I hope for that. She’s my mom, after all.