I met with the Doctor Tues morning and left same day at 1pm to fly home to South Carolina and see my five kids. They all think so differently about life, fate and God that I had to approach each one individually. The flight gave me 3 hours to rethink what was said to me, and add five different spins on the same verdict.
The bottom line is, I'd been under the misconception that while yes, they got all the cancer out, at the same time they snipped 27 tiny pieces for biopsies just to make sure there was nothing else… because there is no cure for Ovarian Cancer. Imagine the shock in hearing your doctor say, "you'll go through 6 rounds of chemo, lose your hair, and then we'll retest you every three months for reoccurrences." My reaction was, "Wait- what? I thought I'd be done after 6 rounds of chemo?
It's more of a disease that needs to be maintained via chemo, and only 15-20% of women will be cancer free after chemo treatments within a 5 year period.
I was shocked into silence!
Not wallowing in depression mind you, I was just so surprised that I was unaware of the reality of the situation. I was busy thinking how to retell this diagnosis without looking for pity and gathering strength.
At first, I listened, nodded, put my wall up, wouldn't let anyone touch me for fear of falling apart before I got on the plane. Who can fly with strangers and let loose with tears? Impossible for me to do! The more I talk about it the worse it gets! Words spill out of order far faster than tears. I could imagine saying to the person sitting next to me, "I thought I was going to be ok, and I booked a trip to spend time with my kids to rejoice that the worst part is over, but they know me so well, and they'll know I'm lying by the time I land and get to the curb!" Sure,… any stranger would get that logic! NOT! So I just shut up. I did what I do best: compartmentalize.
I received a call from the wig store while on the way to the airport. "We've got your hair, whenever you're ready we'll get you set up." In my head I'd been thinking this is short term and I'll wear this wig for 6 months and learn to love it, and after my hair starts to grow back I'll lose the wig. Now, I'm choking while thinking three months after chemo, I'll have lost the wig and then they'll tell me the cancer is back! I may need to keep the wig handy for futures.
While in South Carolina, I've been booked on two TV shows in Charlotte to promote my book, which had me shopping for dresses and shoes yet again because god forbid I'd brought one or two with me? Who knew? A third TV appearance is coming up upon my return in Dallas, and I've set up an LLC and Trademark search for my company. No…I'm not in denial. Will I be a part of the 15-20% success story? Odds are against me since one out of 27 little snippets came back positive, but as scary as it all is, my attitude is more positive than that stupid biopsy!
I've told my kids to get tested for the gene mutation blood test. At least we can be proactive in something! Their reactions to my news was heartbreaking. Some cried silent tears, some just stared at me in disbelief and a couple left me thinking I hadn't been clear enough, but I wasn't willing to retell the tale to make sure they understood. If they didn't get it the first time, they weren't meant to be burdened. It's as simple as that. I love them; I told them; it broke my heart to prepare them for what very well could be, and I skated through by not dwelling on it even if I felt they didn't comprehend 100%. Does this make me a bad parent? I don't think so, I think I put us in "protect mode."
I receive multiple emails from women I don't know, thanking me for speaking up about cancer. They tell me they've gone to the doctor and that I've made a difference in their futures! I'm also receiving emails from women that want to know more about just what a "sugar mom" is, because they think they ARE one! I love it! They are taking risks to be stronger and better than they've ever been while staying sexy and alive! If I have had some responsibility in making any of these differences in multiple lives just from writing a book, a blog, and opening my mouth, then what right do I have to complain?
Get checked if something's out of the norm. YOU must be responsible for your own future! Commit to a "life less ordinary," then join me in the world of "Sugar Mom!" Just do something NEW that makes you feel special. Recognize that it's "ME TIME."
Look in the mirror and make sure you're happy with the woman you've become.
Life will not wait for you…….