A Lonely Diagnosis And A New Sisterhood
This past Sunday, I found out I will be a grandmother for the first time, an answered prayer. I am full of joy and dread, I feel I have been sentenced to limbo. "What if?" is lurking around all the time, this is my new normal.
My reality, 30 percent of all breast cancers no matter what stage it was at original diagnosis comes back as terminal. My mind lived in this worse case scenario all through chemotherapy. After my bilateral mastectomy, it went away a little and I thought "Maybe I will grow old!" My new outlook was short lived, after a visit with my radiation oncologist I was thrown right back into the worst case scenario state of mind. It is a state of calculating what life events you may or may not be present for. 30 percent. Then what? How am I going to live like this for the rest of my life? 30 percent robs me of sleep, this is where my sisters come in.
In October 2015 in my Facebook feed a little group popped up regarding support for breast cancer. I applied. I was accepted.
THIS is where I became a member of a group no one in their right mind would want to join, but, once you are in, you know you are home.
At first, I just read what the other gals were writing about. I observed. We all come from different places, have different types of breast cancer and different stages. I shared the first time and was immediately met with love, encouragement and virtual hugs. Here was a group who "got" me. I found a safe place to help deal with my cancer. This was just the beginning.
When I found out that I am going to be a grandmother I shared about it in the support group wall. It exploded! There were too many responses to keep up with, from women I have never met in person. It far exceeded my real live friends Facebook response.
Cancer makes sweet taste sweeter, the sky seem bluer, love deeper and mortality a reality. They "get" me in a way the others in my life cannot.
Last night, I posted I was having a panic attack related to dying. Once again, floods of responses. I am not even close to being the only member who shares this fear, we all do, along with several different fears and victories daily. We are sisters. It is safe to share WHATEVER we need to and we are never judged.
Is it possible to love someone you have never met in person? I know it is. I love them. Some are now "real" FB friends and we talk daily. I have found a kinship that is really the only good thing I can think of that has come from my cancer.
We are warriors by chance, sisters by choice.
The founder of the group posted an article about women and tribes and wrote we should change our name from group to tribe. Fine by me. I am so absolutely thankful that I found my tribe. She posted this tonight, meanwhile, writing about my sisters has been on my mind all day before that. This relationship with each other is that special.
My tribe makes living in the 30 percent easier.
God gave us the BEST tribe leader ever in Christ. I thank Him everyday for leading me to this group, my tribe.
Stay blessed. XO