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Night Train, Volume 2., The Epiphany

By Laura and William

The emotions and the fear stabbed deeply

Through the numbness of shock and disbelief.

The pain curled me up into a ball

My knees tucked into my chest,

My hoodie pulled down over my head

I sobbed, realizing that this was to be me.

My search terms on YouTube spiraled from “what is breast cancer”

to “milking the drains”; “the iron bra”; “expanders and reconstruction”.

Terms that were not part of my vocabulary,

Once again, the power of knowing - it changes everything!

I couldn’t pull myself away from the stories of these young women.

I wanted to watch more, learn more, hear more,

Follow their experiences, find a connection.

On my four and a half hour train ride to New York,

I watched every video I could,

Somberly noticing there weren’t many.

The same YouTubers would appear in my search list

I had exhausted new terms and keywords.

I remember the epiphany.

A singular moment, sitting on my couch in Boston,

My bestie beside me, as I clicked “post” onto Facebook.

I was going to tell the world I had breast cancer.

That I was diagnosed at 34.

That I was vegan with no family history, nor genetic pre-disposition. That I was diagnosed with breast cancer

I was looking to take the community along for the ride.

Creating amateur YouTube videos allowed me to

Speak to my experience, and helped me to process.

I was able to share my experiences in real time;

The day I lost my hair.

My first infusion

Having my port get infected

Needing intravenous chemotherapy

Explaining a full auxiliary node dissection

Surgery hacks I wish I had known about

Crawling your fingers up the wall

Describing cording and lymphedema

Getting my first radiation tattoos

Skin irritations and radiation burns

Putting myself out there, exposed to all.

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