After enjoying our first year of marriage while trying to conceive a child for a full year, my husband and I consulted my doctor to help with the process. Before beginning any new medicines, I was asked if anything had changed with my health. Thinking back, I recall not wanting to admit that I had discovered a lump in my left breast. To be accurate- my dog found the lump. Our blind puppy, named Dude, jumped on me in bed. I initially believed the lump was a tissue contusion from Dude jumping on me. The lump was close to my sternum and probably nothing to worry about- right? After a few weeks without any change to the contusion, and a doctor now asking me if there was anything of significance to note, I knew I had to bring it up.
I was then sent for a biopsy. Being a police officer, I learned to compartmentalize my emotions and keep them hidden at all cost. I got through the biopsy and moved along with life, still hopeful we would soon glide smoothly into preparations for a child.
While working, my phone rang. I am a school officer and I remember answering the phone while uniformed and monitoring the driveway of our elementary school. Those moments are seared into my mind. "I'm so sorry, it's cancer." I was literally wearing a gun. My world fell out from under me. I remember driving back to the station, bleary eyed and confused. I dragged myself home and awaited my husband. I recall pouring a shot and a beer for him before telling him how our lives as we knew them had changed forever.
That night was one I can not and will never forget. It pushes me every single day to be better. To be stronger. To hold firmly to the lessons that cancer continues to teach me.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductile Breast Cancer. It was determined that my tumor was Triple Negative. I was estimated to be in stage 2. It felt grim, to be honest. I was lost. I had no idea breast cancers even came in different forms. I had so much to learn.
I have found so many people in the cancer community who have opened up a new world to me. I am so thankful for the ability to connect and share my story. I found that sharing my story is a therapeutic form of expression for me. It took so much learning to really deal with my emotions. Yoga has proven to be one of the most helpful coping methods in my process.
I wish you all peace along your journeys, gratitude for all you can learn from it and energy to help others who may come after you.