Life can get real real quick. So I’ve learned. For the last couple of years, I’ve had it pretty good. Ever since I landed a dream job in California, my overall happiness has been high. No complaints. For the most part. Then I got that call. The unfortunate “there’s something I need to tell you” call. It was from my Mother to inform she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She would need a partial mastectomy and 3 months of chemo, and the process was going to start that week.
After the initial shock wore off, I decided not to get overly emotional. I didn’t want to scare her. And I wasn’t going to worry, which was important for me. I’ve battled anxiety since I was a preteen. Now that I’m older, I’m pretty good with maintaining my mental health without medication. It takes patience and strength, but I’ve gotten there. For the time being. However, this was next level news. I questioned how I was going to handle it. Not only personally but professionally.
When you’re on morning radio, you’re expected to share your life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Since I’m newer to the show, I have yet to share anything this personal. My breakup from the French guy was one thing, but should I divulge what my mom is going through to all of Sacramento? I told myself it wasn’t my story to tell. Then I had a discussion with her and realized this has every bit to do with me. My concerns and fears were validated. I mean, she’s the woman that birthed and raised me!
Even after our conversation, I didn’t feel comfortable letting everyone in. I had a lot to think about, articles to read, and calls to make. Besides, I’ve always been the strong one. Even as a kid, I wasn’t very emotional. I’ve been through enough in my short life to learn to compartmentalize. I doubt I’ve let on I’m going through tough times, and I’ve known for weeks. But I finally feel it’s time. I’m ready. She’s ready. This is what we’re dealing with, and she’s going to kick cancer’s ass!
The good news is she had the mastectomy, and it went well. But the hardest part is about to start: chemo. She’ll have to endure it all summer. No, she won’t be working. Yes, she’ll lose her hair. And yes, I’ll be nervous and upset I’m not in Philadelphia to help her. I’ve contemplated taking time off, but she assured me she’s in good hands. If it doesn’t go well, I may leave for a short period of time. Though, I hope that’s not the case. And no, I’m not looking for sympathy.
I don’t want anyone saying “I’m sorry,” even though I know those people mean well. I’m afraid “I’m sorry” will cause me to dwell on the negatives. Which is why it’s taken me this long to open up. I want to be strong for my mother. What I need are words of encouragement, to hear stories from those who have been through it, gift suggestions (because I’ll be sending care packages), and prayers. And no, she doesn’t need money. She has great insurance. Thank God. We just need good, positive vibes.
And I’ll never say no to a “feel better” beer.
Lastly, don’t forget to get screened. It’s so important. Or if you’re in a similar situation, I’m here for you. There are resources as well, since I’m not an RN and new to this. Check out CancerCare.org. 🎗️