In this case, the ‘C-word’ may not be the taboo word you may think.
It’s the other well-known word that people are afraid to hear.
When I decided to write about this, I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic or exactly what it was, I wanted to say. For a writer that can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes then, what you think you want to write about comes out as something entirely different, and other words bubble up from within, like an explosion needing to be released.
Right before Christmas I found out I have breast cancer. I’m going to be ok. It’s the best type of bad news to receive, because it’s non-invasive. I’ll have surgery. Radiation. Take some meds for a chunk of time. And yet it weights heavy on my heart. It some ways, I’m nervous and scared. In other ways, I feel like I’ve just dodged a big ass-kicking bullet.
As I write, there’s a weight hanging over me about, ‘What next?’ I’m waiting on specific information that will inform the type of surgery I’ll have. The unknown. I deal much better with facts. I try not to think about it. To not worry about what I can’t control. But ‘what if’ scenarios pop into my head. Especially, at night, demons come out at night.
My husband, family and friends have been more than amazing. The love and support I’ve received is beyond words. It’s overwhelming, in a good way.
Confronting a ‘big-heavy’ though, is when shit gets real.
Several people have been with me on this journey over the past few weeks. But overall, telling people hasn’t been easy. Who knew how hard it’d be to tell someone you have breast cancer? It’s awful. It’s draining. You feel anxious and don’t want to cause them pain. You also want to assure them, “It’s going to be ok.” I know it’s going to be ok. I have to think that way.
Still, it’s distressing.
It’s also not even across the board, how people react. There’ve been a few ugly cries. One friend sobbed and apologized for doing so. I said, “No. Absolutely no apologies.” It’s a hard topic. It’s a hard thing. It’s just plain hard.
So yes, this is about the ‘C-word.’ Cancer.
But as I wrote I realized, it’s also so very much more than that.... It’s about the sisterhood.
When shit gets real these fierce females have been by my side to help me get through. This larger than life, circle of women, near and far, are carrying me with their invisible nets of love and support. For this, I’m forever grateful.
This type of support is everything I talk about.... All. Of. The. Time. This ‘big-heavy’ is the ‘REAL-real.’ It’s not the pretty stuff. It’s not the things you post pictures of on social media. It’s real life and sometimes it’s damn hard. It’s vulnerability and holding space for being scared, and sharing things you know will remain a trusted secret. And talking through the “what-if’s” and saying, “We’ll get through this together.” It’s calling someone late at night knowing they’ll pick up the phone to talk. It’s when you have a doctor appointment and someone tells you, “I’ve got your carpool covered.” It’s the extensive, on-going offer of, ‘I’m here for you, for whatever you need.”
All I can say, always, is…
Women need each other to lean on. I’m not sharing my story for sympathy. Not at all. I’m sharing to highlight the power of the female sisterhood and the importance of getting yearly check-ups. If you’re overdue for a mammogram, schedule it, today. Mine was a routine appointment, or so I thought. It’d been exactly a year since my previous one. However, this tumor was something I’d never have caught on my own.
In the meantime, I’m capturing everything so I’ll accurately remember it. So that my daughter will know, as she’s now in a higher statistic rate for having it herself. So I don’t forget, which I tend to do. So that I can share it with others, who are on this same path, of what this feels like. The true reality of it and how to deal with it. So that I can offer support, and be part of someone else’s sisterhood when they experience a ‘big-heavy.’
I’ve focused on women in this post because it’s the type of work I do. I’d be remiss to not also share that I’ve have some amazing male family members and friends, that have been beyond supportive! I so very much appreciate them too! Right now, I’m giving myself grace and space to focus on my health. To heal my body and mind. When I feel inspired you’ll hear from me.
You already are. It’s time TO BE.♥️
I say that it’s time to be different. It’s time to talk about what female rivalry is, to know how to break it down one action at a time.
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