Mothers, Fathers, Husbands, Wives, Daughters, Sons, Sisters, Brothers, Friends, Annunciation Parents…
On 28 September my FIL died from Osteosarcoma. It was also the day I found a lump in my left breast. After a month of doctor appointments, opinions from family and friends; for example, my son Simon texted his sister Miriam: “Is this real? Or is this Mom just being dramatic?”, I am writing this email with a heavy heart. Yesterday when I underwent a horrific biopsy of three out of four tumours; I really wished that whole self-check exam was fiction; a story I was writing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month; this month, October.
October is my favourite month. Not only because it is when I celebrate my name day, but because there is the best holiday of all: Halloween. I grew up attending Latin Mass, and in college it led me to goth music, hanging about in the gorgeous cathedrals of Europa and stopping on every road trip whenever I saw a cemetery in order to go read the names on the stones. I’d speculate on what the dead died of, for example, the day before school started, Zack and I went to Temple Israel Cemetery (also known as Memorial Park), located on 42nd/3rd.
We talked about flat memorial stones. There were young men that died during the Great War. Others from WWII. It was an amazing hour talking to my son about history, and how people used to live. While I am intrigued by cemeteries, I am not ready to populate one.
About a week ago I was going to write many of you because Lauren ate a muffin of mine that I sent to Jackson’s house and some of the kids thought it was odd that Zack’s mother was passing out muffins. I’ve been baking for weddings for awhile, and in 2014 I will be creating a pop-up restaurant, so baked goods are circulating; the Johanns, Arms and Woods have been gracious enough to take excess off my hands.
Four hours and two minutes ago I found out that I have invasive infiltrating ductal carcinoma. To put it simply, I have breast cancer and it’s metastasized.
Zack asked me to tell the lot of you. He plans on counting on your children to talk to him when he is scared. He plans on relying on you and your children plus Church and School to be his support network. He does not want to go to therapy, or some child of a breast cancer sufferer support group.
5077 days ago I gave birth to an amazing boy. He was welcomed by a thrilled father, a five year old sister, Miriam, and an ecstatic eight year old, Simon. I’ve heard really good things about my son through the years. How he is funny. How he is kind. How he cares about others. How he is polite. I thank you so much for telling me these things.
The five of us, plus my long-distance mother, will deal with this diagnosis the best we can, and I hope you will be there for my son. You might even end up being there for Jon or myself.
G-d Speed everyone.