For Me

Pink ink…

One day she woke up and her world was changed forever. She was faced with a reality she never dreamed possible. *

A 40 something black woman comes home from a breast advocacy meeting to find a lump in her breast. Viewers learn she had a clear mammo just months prior. Chemo, double mastectomy, radiation with 3rd degree burns and more are captured in a blog she creates with her “sister”.

“Crazy! You wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t know it was a true story!” –California
“It leaves you wondering, when will it end!” –Illinois

A year ago TODAY, my life changed forever. A year ago TODAY, I found my lump. A year ago TODAY I entered Life in the Cancer Lane. Little did I know what a year it would be.

When I awoke this morning, I didn’t know what I would feel. Would I cry? Would I not feel…anything? What would this day look like? Well, the day has started off the same as every morning, except it’s raining…in Phoenix! Lol! Big B and I gave each other an extra long hug and reflected on the fact that we made it a year. Then we sent Lil B off to school.

I remember finding the lump that could have killed me, would have killed me, like it was yesterday. I knew it was cancer, immediately. If you knew me then, you will remember that I was calm. Deep inside, I must have known it was about to be a rollercoaster ride. As I sit here trying to capture what I was feeling, what I am now feeling, the only word I see is…CALM. That is a blessing, as I face yet another surgery in 3 days.

I will face many “anniversaries” over the months to come. It will be interesting to see how they affect me, and my love ones. For now, I am happy for the calm.

Determined not to be a victim to…anything
She decided to set a new course for her life.
She never dreamed
The devastation she…faced
Would be the refiner’s fire
That turned her life around
She is now the epitome of a true survivor.*

Today, I CELEBRATE this anniversary. I celebrate the day I saved my life. I celebrate the fact that I had the courage to tell somebody, to immediately call my doctor. I celebrate that I am ABLE to share my story! I celebrate that I chose, that I STILL choose, to FIGHT!

Ironically, today is Stand Up To Cancer Day, replete with a concert & telethon! (Check your local listings!) The SU2C org asks “who do you stand up for?”

Today, I stand up…for me!

*Suzy Toronto (abridged)