Today is February 1, 2016 and I am heading to downtown Boise this morning. I will participate with other cancer survivors today and speak with our State Legislative representatives with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Our primary focus will be to ask the state legislators for quality access to the kind of healthcare that allows not only cancer patients a chance but all Idahoans.
Last weekend I organized receipts for the dreaded task of getting my act together for tax preparation. In the process, I found the journal I had when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 1995. Twenty years ago I wrote in this journal for six months. I definitely had an Oprah Ah Ha moment, except my moment lasted more than that afternoon.
I am taking this journal with me today to the Idaho Capitol. I am going to read a few excerpts which I am hoping will make a difference:
“I found a lump after a self-exam”
“After a mammogram…. I was in a bit of a daze, but I went back to work”
“My doctor came out to meet me in the waiting room and asked me to wait. I knew, right then and there”
“My doctor said I should have my left breast removed”
“Dr. F said it penetrated my ductal walls”
Anxiety dreams, gripping pain, I was so nervous after my mastectomy. I had chosen to have both breasts removed and immediate reconstruction. I had supportive and caring physicians that always returned my phone calls or faxes – hey, this was 20 years ago! – of questions I had.
“I kept crying while I worked, so I began to admit to myself that is was time to talk to other cancer survivors. My friends and family could not possibly know how I feel inside”
“I feel at a loss. And I am terrified of chemo”
“I am starting to crack and weaken”
Seven months later, I wrote this: “You just have to go on”
Looking back, I have finally realized that my strength has always been a part of my essence, my being, my spirit, a part of me. I’m taking that with me to the Capitol to support better healthcare choices in Idaho. I will communicate what I went through to tell my story and listen to the stories of the others that I will be with. I am truly looking forward to this day….
Wish me luck!
#ACSCAN #IdahoHealthcareChoices #BreastCancer #CancerSurvivor