I often tell people my son is my guardian angel but he just doesn’t know it yet. One day when he is older, I will sit down and share with him the story of how he helped save his mommy’s life. It was a normal August evening in our West Atlanta home. We had just returned from our daughter’s softball and son’s baseball practice. Our bellies were full, and we were all retiring upstairs for the night to prepare for school and work. I laid in my bed to get comfortable and my 7-year-old son laid his head gently on my chest just as he normally does when he gets ready to drift off into a deep sleep. Suddenly, he attempted to sit up abruptly using his elbow to push against my chest. When he pushed down, I felt pain in my right breast. This alerted me. The pain was so significant that it forced me to grab my breast and immediately self-examine. I looked over at my husband and said, “hmmmm that’s weird.”
“I feel a pretty large lump in my breast.” He casually said, “Well baby, make an appointment and have the doctor check it out.” I could tell by his response that he was convinced it was nothing.
However, my mind began to wonder because of my dad’s family history with breast cancer. I continued to rub my breast almost as if I was trying to tell myself it really wasn’t there. Somehow I wanted to believe that I was overreacting and it was all in my head. Eventually, I just told myself I was going to say a prayer and call my doctor in the morning to schedule an appointment. The next morning, I called my doctor’s office and told them I wanted to schedule an appointment for my primary care to check my breasts. I scheduled my appointment for the next week but my kids had a dentist appointment too, so I had to reschedule. When I rescheduled, I had to wait 2 more weeks to see my doctor. By this time, my nerves were getting bad and my mind was beginning to wonder.
It was almost as if something or someone was trying to interfere with my sense of urgency to get to my much needed appointment. “What about my kids? What about my husband? Will I die?”
These were just a few of the heart wrenching questions that crossed my mind when my Breast Surgeon said to me on September 30, 2016, “You have Breast Cancer.” Her exact words were “You have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing a day before breast cancer awareness month began. It was all just so ironic to me.
In fact, I think I went into shock for a moment because I remember getting extremely weak and feeling like everything became a blur. I was at my office when my surgeon called me and honestly, I couldn’t feel my entire being anymore when I heard the news. It was like I no longer existed for a moment. It didn’t matter that she said to me, “we caught it just in time.” I remember breaking down in the hallway of my office.
A young lady from the office across the hall along with some of my colleagues flooded into the hallway to console me. I couldn’t talk because I was crying so uncontrollably. It felt like my world was closing in on me. I felt like I was in a bubble and everyone was trying to reach for me but the bubble had me isolated from the world. It was