My whole world changed on November 29, 2016. I was diagnosed with cancer and had no idea how the hell that had happened. My mom was crying wishing it was her instead of me. My children did not know yet. My husband was in shock. My dad was just absolutely floored and my brothers were on the floor with him.
I had been running a semi-successful business called The Next Step www.thenextstep1234.com and just accepted my first full time teaching gig - if there could be worse timing for cancer, I did not know if it was possible. I mean a diagnosis of cancer always sucks but getting it during your first full time job in several years is less than ideal.
During my testing, surgery, chemotherapy and even some of my radiation, I spent a lot of time "hiding" - I would not leave the house without a head scarf on or a hat - it had to be a wig of some sort only.
I would not allow people to corner me to talk about it because I did not have anything to share (in my opinion). This is rare because I spend a lot of time talking and sharing in general. I have made an income on my thoughts and opinions on all things professional and collegiate and now here I was speechless. Cancer had robbed my voice. I was hiding and I did not know how else to be.
I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself. I was bald and missing a boob. For some time, I was swollen and disfigured on the right side of my chest. My mastectomy was to the bone of my chest wall - there is no meat to stop the feeling of bone grating pain when my children want to lean their heads on my right chest.
My focus shifted from inwards to outwards seemingly over night but it was a long drawn out silence. I kept a personal journal during the process of diagnosis to surgery to recovery to treatments. Slowly I started keeping my journal on this blog in June and then finally in July, I went public and matched my name and my alter ego at The Next Step to this site.
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