I’m embarrassed to admit this, but breast cancer is something Patty and I never thought we’d be dealing with. As I’ve said before, there was no history of any kind of cancer on Patty’s side of the family. We’ve never even known anyone who’se had breast cancer. Breast cancer was an issue that was very very foreign to us. Now we’re in the middle of it.
Learning that Patty was diagnosed with breast cancer was very devastating news and it really took a while for both of us to digest this information. But once it really sinks in, it hit’s you like a Mike Tyson left hook! “Wham! This is real!” Breast cancer has totally consumed both of us. You literally live it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As much as you try to put it out of your mind, you can’t. Sometimes you can put it in the back of your mind during the day, but it always finds a way to creep back into the forefront. It’s the last thing on your mind when you go to bed. There are times that it maneuvers into your dreams. It’s the first thing you think of when you wake up. It completely consumes all your thoughts and your life. The “unknown” is the worst. Not having details just eats away you. Then top that off waiting for the result of the various tests Patty went through really takes it’s toll.
So how do you get through this? You have to take it a day at a time. Sometimes you have to take it an hour at a time. One very important thing we learned is you have to stay away from the internet!!! Nothing good comes out of trying to “self-diagnose by websites!” The diagnosing should be left to the doctors! That’s why they went through many years of training, to provide a proper diagnosis. Upon learning her diagnosis, Patty (I was guilty also) immediately went to the internet to learn as much as she could about her condition. What she found was nothing but bad news! There may have been some promising news squeezed in between the bad, but unfortunately she (we) only saw the bad. As a result, the internet just terrorized her more. So, no more internet. I even threatened to put “parental controls” on our computer so she couldn’t conduct any more searches. Patty is a very smart woman, but facing breast cancer pushed all common sense aside when she was trying to learn as much as she could about her condition. It turns into an Emotional vs. Intellectual” battle. The emotional side generally wins. She finally realized what she was doing to herself and has promised to stay off the computer.
I just recently read a journal of a woman who was going through what we’re currently facing. She wrote: “There is no way I could have been where I am today without the inclusion of these three “F” words: Faith, Family and Friends” This is so true!
Faith! It doesnt’ matter what religion, all have some form of God. Patty and I were both raised in the Catholic faith. We both believe in God but, like many people, we were a “work in progress” when it came to our faith. Patty and I have been “talking” about returning to church as it’s been one aspect of our life that’s missing, but we just never made the time. Always had some excuse not to go. We have a very close friend named Jayne who is very confident with her faith. (This picture is Patty and Jayne) Jayne has told us man times: “You’re talking the talk, but you’re not walking the walk!” That statement finally made sense to us. So we’ve turned to God for help. We’ve always believed in the power of prayer and really gave it the test over the past few months. Now, we’re firm believers! I can’t tell you how many people have been praying for Patty. A small prayer group in Scripps Ranch; the congregation at the Maranatha Chapel; two separate congregations in Northern California; friends, family and countless people we’ve never met, to name a few! Do you think it was a coincidence that Patty was initially diagnosed with an incurable cancer then further tests proved that the cancer was contained in her breast and curable??? I don’t think so! We’ve opened our hearts to the Lord and he answers our prayers!
The other two “F’s”, Friends and Family. I can’t say enough about friends and family! There has been so much support for Patty. And, quite honestly, I really appreciate the help. As much as I try, I can only do so much. I’ve realized that I’m not Superman (that was a really hard revelation to admit!). As much as I want, I can’t do it all. So this is where family and friends come to play. Patty LOVES getting phone calls, emails, cards and flowers! Speaking of cards… our fireplace mantle is covered with them!
There’s 44 cards crammed on the mantle that she’s received over the past few weeks! Patty cries every time she receives a card! They’re good tears! And you know what??? Those cards are not coming down!!
Thank you so much for your support!!!