Its been four weeks ago since I found out that my youngest sister has breast cancer.
I knew that she found a lump in her breast and that the hospital had taken a sample of tissue for biopsy, for some reason, I wasn’t worried. My dad’s mom had breast cancer, which went undiagnosed until it didn’t really matter. She had a myriad of health issues going on toward the end of her life, breast cancer wasn’t really on the radar.
Again, it must seem silly, but I just wasn’t worried about my sister. She’s 29, she works out all the time, totally healthy, it just didn’t add up to me. So when my mom called me early on a Friday it didn’t occur to me to get off the call I was already on, I would just call her back. Then she called again, I thought, ok something’s up, I explained to the woman I was talking to that I would have to call her back. In the midst of that conversation my sister called me, I finally said I have to go. I’m pretty sure I hung up without giving her the option of holding or talking another time.
I switched over to my sisters call and she said what are you doing this morning? I said that I had a meeting later in the afternoon, but asked “what’s up?” She proceeded to tell me that the hospital called and she was wondering if I could go with her to see what they had to say. My heart immediately sunk, this, whatever it was, was not good. I said of course, when do we have to go, 30 minutes, no problem. I threw on clothes and made a call to Site Strategics explaining I wasn’t going to be able to make the meeting. They were very gracious, told me not to give it a second thought, and go with my sister.
I always have to get in the right frame of mind going over to my parent’s house – that frame of mind is denial. Even now, even after six years, I still have to tell myself that my dad won’t be there when I walk through the front door. This trip though, felt familiar, I was anxious and sick to my stomach, fighting back tears, telling myself my sister was fine, and I had to be strong, over and over again.
Jumping into my car we headed over to the hospital, the same hospital my dad was rushed to six years earlier. I doubt if Ashley remembered, but we parked in almost the exact same spot that we had parked in when we followed the ambulance carrying our Dad in. As we walked up, I said it’s going to be fine, no matter what happens, it will be ok. She already had a look on her face as if she’s been rehearsing this conversation already in her head.
“It’s cancer.” Ashley just shook her head acknowledging what she already knew. I put my hand on her shoulder, I could feel every muscle in my body tense up. The woman started saying things, and I started writing things down, it was like she was talking muffled and so slowly I almost couldn’t make out what she was saying, but I still kept writing. Then she paused and looked at the floor, she did not want to say what she had to say next.
Type of cancer, estrogen, hormones, menopause, not able to have children.
Ashley slumped over in the chair, the three of us cried and cried.
We left in silence with a folder full of information both of us stunned. I knew life as our family knew it was changing again.
Why I’m telling you this. Ashley had wanted to be very private about her diagnosis, but something has shifted in her and she doesn’t want to be private now. She wants to give this a voice, that’s why I’m telling you.
She wants everyone to know that she found this lump during a self-exam which she learned how to do from Planned Parenthood. Here’s the deal people, I don’t care if your pro-life or pro-choice, I don’t care what side of the fence your morales sit with regards to Planned Parenthood. As far as I’m concerned Planned Parenthood educated me and both of my sisters about our bodies and how to take care of them and that we had choices. They educated us, and because of that education, my sister found her tumor very early and because of that I’m sure she will beat this disease.
Her surgery will be in December, and chemotherapy will start shortly after that. All we are asking for is prayers/mojo/chanting/etc. for strength and healing. You can also like our Facebook page Ashley’s Updates
Cancer really does suck.