About twenty five years ago I lay along the back of the couch (I was 10, it was a favourite spot, and I was small enough, at the time, to fit) and felt the breath sucked out of me and the world tilt uncomfortably as my father explained to my sister and I that my mother would be in hospital for a bit, having an operation that, hopefully, would let her live. She had breast cancer, at 40.
On Friday, I had exactly the same feeling when one of my best friends called me to say that the lump she’d found is also cancer. She’s 37. Apparently they treat aggressively in such a young woman. She’ll have chemo and radiation and is, as we speak, having a scan to determine how much they’ll cut.
It seems inconceivable that someone so wonderful, so sweet, should have to go through this. I want to throw myself to the ground and shout and scream that it’s not fair, like a two-year old. But mainly I wish that we could share out the struggle that she is facing. She has so many people who love her, if we just each took a little bit, it’d be so much more tolerable.
Luckily she is strong, and fit, and they caught it early. We’ll wait for the scan results and then she goes in this afternoon for the operation. My mother is now in her 60’s and (touch wood) has been healthy since.
In the meantime we all pull in closer and cling to each other and surround her with love and focus all our energy on everything going well this afternoon and the next months. Please.