My cell rang, and I looked for someplace private to take the call. I walked into the garage and closed the door to my office, which happened to be my car. Sitting inside the car, inside the garage, I found my familiar haven. With three kids and a constant stream of places to be, things to do, people to talk with, this place became my refuge, my place to regroup and sometimes even catch a nap. This time, however, I can’t remember even breathing. I fumbled to open the storage compartment to grab a pen and whatever paper I could find. The doctor said in a matter-of-fact tone, “I have your biopsy results. The pathology report shows you have invasive lobular carcinoma.”
I scribbled down the words, trying to sound them out. Something about pathology and those three foreign words. I cleared my throat, scribbled little circles on the corner of the paper to start the ink flowing again, and asked, “Wait. What does this mean?”
“I’m sorry. The biopsy shows you have breast cancer.”
I had no words.
(excerpt from “Warrior In Pink” Chapter 1: Sunbeams and Southern Accents)
I Never Imagined I’d Need CaringBridge
This began the madness that filled almost an entire calendar year. Three surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy, thirty-two physical therapy sessions, thirty-three radiation treatments, and countless doctors’ appointments, pills, blood work and scans.
I remember reading CaringBridge entries in the past from my friends who experienced medical challenges and thinking, “What a great idea and a great visual name—Caring Bridge…a bridge of care to the people who need just that. These entries are so helpful to know what is going on without bugging them. Now I know how I can pray, and I can leave messages of encouragement.” I never imagined I would be the one in the same place of needing the prayers, encouragement and care.
Grateful for CaringBridge
Three days before Christmas I received my cancer diagnosis. When word got out, our home phone rang day and night. Concerned family and friends asked the same questions over and over. My friend set up CaringBridge account for me and I began writing updates. CaringBridge became a place for me to process my cancer journey. The outlet helped me feel connected. I remember during the hardest parts, when night seemed to last forever, I would read and reread guest messages through tears of both pain and appreciation.
I’m grateful for CaringBridge and all the people behind the scenes who made it possible for me to stay connected and feel known and loved during the hardest year of my life.
If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer I have a letter written to you here.
How has CaringBridge helped you stay connected? Share in the comments below.