My little action hero had breast cancer. Last week she had a double mastectomy by choice and no longer has breast cancer. All mothers must know how I felt … fear, anger, depression, helpless, sleepless. Now I feel:
- Grateful that she had the best breast surgeon and plastic surgeon in Atlanta
- Grateful that she was at Northside Womens’ Center, the best facility for women in the southeast US and possibly the entire country
- Grateful that I did not let the platitudes from well-intentioned people make me crazy
- Grateful that she is a marathoner; strong and in excellent physical condition
- Grateful that my daughter was surrounded by positive spiritual, emotional and psychological supporters
- Grateful that she has a powerful intelligence and a positive attitude
- Grateful for the phenomenal cafeteria and delicious meals at Northside Hospital, the in-house Starbucks and the comfortable bed I had in her room. This is truly a five-star facility. The Bellagio of hospitals.
- Grateful that the sentinel lymph node was clear of cancer cells
- Grateful that I didn’t vomit or faint when the nurse showed me how to maintain her surgical drains, measure and log the outflow
- Grateful for the caring staff throughout the hospital – the physicians, nurses, technicians & environmental staff
- Grateful for a loving and supportive family; fabulous friends and wonderful neighbors
- Grateful for the delicious meals her neighbors organized so I didn’t have to shop or cook
- Grateful that I am physically able to take care of my daughter, her son and her husband
- Grateful that I’m retired and can travel and stay with my daughter as long as she needs me
- Grateful that my son-in-law hasn’t gotten sick and tired of me (yet)
- Grateful for Percocet and muscle relaxers (for my daughter, not me)
- Grateful that she has a large husband so she didn’t need to buy anything that buttons down the front – his shirts work great as pj’s or dresses
- Grateful for the early detection of the tumor; that it was slow growing and treatable
- Grateful for a sweet and loving 5-year old grandson who will do anything to make his mommy happy and comfortable
- Grateful that my beautiful daughter has considered herself a cancer survivor from the moment she was diagnosed
- Grateful for neighbors who babysat my grandson when necessary
- Grateful that it appears that she made all the right decisions for her surgeries and reconstruction.
And you know what? She never stopped smiling. Her breasts look beautiful already and there will be almost no scarring. Yes, she’s in pain but it’s temporary and we’re looking forward to her next adventure – renewing her marriage vows wearing her original wedding dress.
LADIES – PLEASE PERFORM YOUR SELF-EXAMS AND GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!!