I need to apologize for my lack of posts. I suppose you could say I was on sabbatical for a couple months. Honestly, life had overwhelmed me. Life was a mess, and while we are still wading in what feels like chest deep of mess, things are starting to get cleaned up a bit. I still stayed up to date with our fearless leader Brooke’s Facebook posts and fellow mama’s postings, but I wasn’t ready to continue posting, until NOW! (You can stop applauding, I appreciate it though!)
It is officially October. Welcome to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! You may judge me and criticize me for what I am about to write, but it is honest…this USED to ANNOY ME TO NO END!
It seemed like the pink ribbons floating around everywhere were a “brand” that was getting shoved in my face every moment of my life in October! My relationship with breast cancer was me being annoyed (not by the cancer itself but by the intense branding that had been developed) and so I purposely ignored it. Until, September 5th, 2012 when my sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For me, my relationship with breast cancer (even all the branding) hasn’t been the same since…
My BIG SISTER! My BEST FRIEND! My SECOND MOTHER! (We are 13 years apart, she’s older and has always been my ‘go-to’ when I needed sound, rational advice, not ridden with “I love you no matter what decision you make” advice…). Now, I handle just about everything pretty well. I am decent at realizing that my life isn’t going to be this way forever, good or bad, rolling with the punches, etc. But, for some reason, this one, this whole stage 3 Breast Cancer out of NO WHERESVILLE hit me harder than I ever could have imagined.
So, now on top of everything else going on in my life (insert selfishness here I know, I know…) I now have this added stress of my sister’s mortality right smack dab in my face.
Here’s what I have been feeling: I wasted so many years of my healthy sister not spending time with her, we spent a lot of our lives in two very different places, making it difficult to connect very well. I wish we had been closer to her sooner. I have a slew of memories, and I wish I remembered MORE. I feel regret, lots of regret. And, I am reflecting a lot on my life, myself, and my family.
While none of us are promised tomorrow, she’s not promised an easy tomorrow, or a tomorrow without exhaustion, or something going into the port that she had to have put in, or the months of chemo, followed by surgery, followed by months of radiation, etc etc etc. She’s just about guaranteed a certain amount of suffering…
Positives: she’s been connected with people from her past that have gone through this, kicked it’s booty, and going through it again! She’s started a blog about her journey, and while she is going through this, she is still my sister and her attitude is what I call “annoying comforting” as only I feel a sister is allowed to call it. She’s still the same ol’ Jenn. She’s brave…. so brave. So yes, her hair is going to fall out, which I think is alright, she never liked to have to do her hair anyways. However, Midwest winters can be pretty brutal, so she’ll definitely need some fabulous hats, and our mother is a crocheting WIZARD.
Negatives: This is cancer. This is going to be a journey for her like nothing else. Love you seester, but pain and you do NOT get along very well.
I remember when I was younger, not sure how old, at least 5 because my sister was driving me somewhere and mom didn’t let her get her license until she was 18… and I wanted to have long hair like her, sing like her (we sang in the car A LOT), be as smart as she was. Honestly, even now I wish I could be the one going through this, because I know I could handle it. I’m so scared that once chemo starts, the pain is going to become that much more real, the struggle that much more difficult, and reality THAT much more clearer.
So to everyone who HAS suffered themselves, or knows someone who has, I apologize for my ignorance. This is something that we all SHOULD support. My sister, just turned 40 mid August, is a mother to two amazing little girls, awesome wife, daughter, aunt, friend. She is ALL those things, and we need her and every other mom, daughter, sister wife, friend, cousin, you NAME it to STILL be able to be those things.
Cancer doesn’t care who you are, what you do, what you need to do… so take some extra time to hold those special women (& men) in your lives close. I am hoping once she finishes her battle with her “beast” (she despises the word “bReast” so she refers to it as her “beast” … witty lady my sister is), I can change me relationship status with cancer to FINISHED!!!
She has just started her first round of chemotherapy, so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We will take any positivity you are willing to send our way. Thank you 🙂