Today’s post is another from guest author Nancy Stephens, it is a continuation of her story about overcoming adversity that was published on this blog in June with the title A Shining Example of Overcoming Adversity.
When we go through life’s trials, the reasons why they happen or when they happen are sometimes never known until someone close to you goes through a similar challenge.
I had invasive, lobular breast cancer in 2006. My mom was diagnosed with the same cancer almost two years to the day, later.
When I went through the learning curve, the treatments and the recovery, she was an unwitting witness of what the disease was all about.
Fortunately, because I encouraged her to get pushy about the lump “too deep for a clear diagnosis,” to not put it off, to give her doctor my records – am MRI determined she had the same cancer that I had overcome. Her diagnosis caught the cancer at an earlier stage so she escaped chemo and radiation. Surgery and Tamoxifen were still required but she’s fine today and escaped the slash and burn process.
As for me, I’m good as new and grateful for a lot of things, one of them being able to help her to not be afraid. I was also glad I could explain everything from my own experience rather than Mom having to search for answers on her own.
When mom saw me living a normal, healthy, active life after surgery, chemo and radiation, she gained confidence and peace of mind that her life would return to normal as well.
I feel that it was meant to be for me to “wade through the swamp” first to better equip me to help Mom (and others). Seeing fear and confusion in a loved one’s eyes is painful, but wielding a weapon like thriving survival against terror created by hearing the dreaded words of a cancer diagnosis.