If you are reading this and had no idea that I, a 33-year-old mother of 2, attorney, athlete, sarcastic, general badass, have breast cancer, I’m sorry to catch you off guard. There is no good way to break the news to people and especially no practical way to do it to a large number of people. Telling people you have cancer is at once horrible and sincerely strange. I have never before seen words have such a jarring, almost physical effect on people. So, I am sorry if you just experienced that for yourself but I promise, it gets easier from here.
I won’t go into detail about my diagnosis (it’s largely unknown at this point anyway) or my treatment here. Instead, I’ll update that regularly in a separate area cleverly titled “Diagnosis” and “Treatment.” I am nothing if not organized.
I wanted to create this blog for a few reasons. The first, is to keep everyone who loves me and who supports me updated. Fortunately, already I’m feeling a little army rise up beneath me and it is the most reassuring and inspiring feeling. I am so grateful I cannot possibly describe my gratitude.
Second, I want to hold myself accountable. Cancer is scary as hell. It’s also holy Moses draining and time consuming. And yes, it is physically painful, mentally overwhelming and sometimes really sad.
If I left it at that, cancer would suck. It would suck the joy and hope out of my life, dim my spirit, and distract me from the meaningful and beautiful vision I have for my life. But I won’t allow it. I may have a big bad scary disease but I am going to leverage every opportunity for growth, authenticity, and love out of it. I’ve had a nagging feeling for some time that I wasn’t living out loud the way I was compelled to be inside. I was afraid of judgment and the patronizing eye rolls from people who didn’t understand me. Well, good news, cancer doesn’t care about all that. I feel like I have a shiny permission slip in my hands that I’m going to waive it around and charge forward with sincerity, honesty and bravery.
This is not to say that my writing here will be all glitter and rainbows and silver linings. It won’t be. I highly value vulnerability. I think it is primary and mearning full way we connect. It will be hard to share, sure. But maybe if you see that I am struggling under the weight of mortality, career, love, relationships, vanity, finances, parenting, and everything else, we can meet in an unspoken place where we both feel less alone.
So this, my friends, is my invitation and my promise. I will be true to myself and to you. Feel free to join me. I would love to have you. If not, set me down and let me go. We are no worse off having the wisdom to admit that we are not a match. I’m not trying to force a fit anymore. I just am what I am.
So that is the big news and this is where we begin. Go forward with love in your hearts and the knowledge that although I’m sensitive and empathetic, I’m also tough as hell. I will fight this with all my might…and that, my friends, is a deep well to draw upon.
Give em’ hell.