I’m having a tough couple of days this week as I received news via Facebook that my big sister from my sorority at University of Maryland is battling triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive form of the disease. She was diagnosed this January at the young age of 26. I was in bed when I saw the news just going through my Facebook news feed and, as you could imagine, was in complete shock when I saw the words “diagnosis” on her page. This wave of anxiety came over my entire body. I suddenly was surrounded by so many emotions: Anger that this happened to such a beautiful person, confusion on why this happened to her at such a young age, overwhelming sadness that she and her family had to undergo so much pain, and so many others but words do not adequately describe them.
I read D’s entire blog that evening. Initially, I thought I read in one of her posts that she too was BRCA positive but to my surprise, as I read further, I found out that she had tested for the BRCA mutation but was found negative (thank God!). This was somewhat surprising only because of her age and how aggressive the cancer is but she is truly blessed that she is not a carrier of BRCA as it is one less thing that she has to worry about and we can just leave it at that.
Why this is so different:
I’ve known a lot of people in my life to receive a diagnosis like this…a lot more than I should…but this diagnosis is not the same. This is completely different. D and I went to college together. We went to the bar together. We watched Sex and the City together. We talked about boys together. We knew each other before we married our husbands and before we had our careers. WE ARE THE SAME AGE. We are from the same town. We walked the same halls and sat in the same classrooms…
My husband tried to console me on Monday night and in between my crying he said “this is why you had the surgery you had.” Now naturally someone like myself with my situation would certainly flash forward and think about what I would do if it were me. But I wasn’t really thinking about that. Reading D’s so eloquently written posts, with her amazing and courageous spirit with such detail made me realize how nominal what I went through was on the scale of things. I’ve been having a pitty party over her recently thinking about how the surgery went and such and reading what D has been going through just put things in such a different perspective for me. I thought what I went through something hard and trying and rough. Ha! Just the thought of what D is continuing to go through each and every day brings tears to my eyes and she does it with such grace and an aire about her!
Please pray for D:
D, if you are reading this, you truly are amazing, an inspiration and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening up and sharing your story. Your story will help so many women find their voice and understanding of this disease and it only takes one…
To all other readers out there, I ask you to please pray for my friend and her family as she continues her own personal fight against breast cancer.