My daughter, Riley, is able to verbalize her feelings to me. I can talk to her and help her process. My boys are another story. Let's just say I've been on a "Need to Know" basis with them. And when they do tell me something, I get the cliff note version. When it comes to my cancer they are stoic and silent. They don't verbalize how they feel. I'm worried about them.
When I'm in recovery Riley shows me what Anthony posted on facebook. It was a picture of me before surgery wearing my pink lei. His post said: "Prayers for my amazing Mother this afternoon as she is in surgery. This is the second attempt cancer has tried to bring her down. Unfortunately cancer does not know my mother . . . nothing gets in her way not now, not ever. She's a fighter".
I'm speechless. My stoic, quiet son wrote that. He humbles me beyond words.
I tried to get my surgery delayed a week as Nick was having his bachelor party weekend June 2nd. I wanted Bob to be able to go. He needed a break. Dr. Ruark stood firm my surgery would be on June 1st. Nick wasn't sure he should go. I was adamant. This is just surgery, I told him, I will be fine. Cancer is not going to take away from the joy of your wedding. We cannot let our lives revolve around this. I don't want cancer to take center stage. Both He and Anthony, leave on Thursday, the day of my surgery, for his bachelor party.
It's Saturday and I'm home. Sitting in my chair, I feel myself entering a dark place. Here's the thing with cancer. It moves quickly. Mammogram, biopsy, masectomy - bing, bam, boom. It was two weeks from diagnois to surgery. I think my head finally caught up with it. I'm immensely sad and overwhelmed with it all. I cry and can't seem to stop. I call Natalie, and talk for about an hour. Her words help bring me back. Balance. Yes, I truly look at this in gratitude but I can't always be sunshine and roses. I've lost a breast. I need to let myself mourn and grieve. I've been through something traumatic. Something life changing. Allow the grief.
Stay present. I can't think farther than today. With cancer, everyone has their own unique journey. I can't predict what type of treatment, length of treatment, how I'll handle the treatment - none of it. I need to let it go. Stay in the now.
I spend the day grieving. In the middle of my grief, I get a text from Nick. He's sends me a picture. It is the entire group of guys at the bachelor party holding up a pink sign that says #savingteets. If I wasn't crying before, I'm sobbing now. Nick posted it on his facebook and Instagram and said:
Having a great weekend with all the boys. But can't help think about what's truly important. We all love you and are thinking about you mom! #SavingTeets
I'm told later that they have spent over an hour trying to find pink paper to make the sign. 20 guys took time from their bachelor party to think of me and support me. How did I get so blessed? How did I end up with such fantastic kids? My heart is bursting. What began as a sad day became one of pure love. Call me blessed.