Florida's Daughter

Looking for and Finding Peace …

Posted on: August 30, 2009



Que sera, sera
what ever will be, will be;
The future’s not ours to see.
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be





Well, two weeks from Tuesday, on September 15, 2009, I go under the knife for a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive breast surgery. Two months ago I was fretting over passing the English Language Arts and Reading teacher certification exam, hoping I would somehow get a classroom of my own enthusiastic middle schoolers to teach, and in an instant, my life changed with the knowledge that I have breast cancer.

At first, I thought I could multi-task my way through the ordeal … kind of throw fighting breast cancer in amongst all the other things I have to do to progress and maintain my life. But then when my genetic test came back positive, and I discovered that from birth I was at increased risk of getting cancer, and that unless I take drastic measures, I will remain at risk … well, nothing else seems as important right now as fighting breast cancer.

When school began I was so sad as I watched the other teachers prepare their rooms and lesson plans for a new year, and greet their classes on the first day. I kept thinking: “That should have been me!”

So, don’t get me wrong … all of my hopes and dreams are just as clear, just as real, just as intense as they always were … I still want to teach middle school; write a book of essays, and reach out to teenage mothers and other young women struggling to find themselves. I even now want to become a living testimony of breast cancer survival for other women, and men, too. But all of this will have to wait, or at least progress will need to slow up a bit while I fight this alien that has invaded my body.

Speaking of the alien, I received the results of my recent bone, CAT, and PET scans as well as my MRI and I am relieved to report that all was fine and it looks like the alien is still where we found it … sitting comfortably in my left breast … it has not metastasized … Thank God!

And I’m happy to report as well that the nightmares have decreased somewhat; although the thought of cancer is never far from my conscious mind, I am at least able to sleep a little better these days.

I suppose in some way I’m getting used to the idea of living with cancer, or the threat of it. And, consequently, I realize that I will never, ever be the same person. How I will change and grow is yet being determined … right now, I’m just looking for peace in the storm.

Florida’s Daughter


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