Warm evenings are spent on the front porch talking with my husband, trying to get privacy from two little girls who aren't yet asleep. We talk about my diagnosis, treatment options and what my body will look like after all of the surgeries. My husband tells me anything is better than a gravestone. I listen to my neighbors laugh and wonder when that will be us again.
You can’t tell by looking at me that I have breast cancer. I am young and healthy, have no symptoms or lumps. I am not “at risk.” Medical literature said I could wait a few years before getting a mammogram. Fortunately, I decided to get one now.
That mammogram lead to an early diagnosis and saved my life. Unfortunately, my cancer has a risk of recurrence and is so widespread on the right side, I am saying goodbye to my 34 DDs.
I guess I am lucky because I don’t need chemo or radiation, and, most importantly, I get to live. Right now though, I am scared, angry and incredibly sad. I am trying to show my girls how to be brave and not ask, “Why me?” too many times. It’s hard though because I want off of this roller coaster ride more than anything. Since I don’t get that choice, I am holding on tight and relying on my friends and family. I’ll get through this, and I hear I will be stronger in the end. Right now though, this is tough.
Photo taken at Mumble Street kiosk, Sellwood Farmers Market, September 17th, 2014
We asked Suzanne to answer the question 'Who are you?' in 250 words (or less).