by Ida, a MyBCTeam ambassador
My 55th birthday was coming up in four days. I had dropped a million hints that I wanted an iPad. I hoped the discrete little hints that I left for my husband and sons were not too subtle for them not to catch on. Pictures of iPads taped on the refrigerator and bathroom mirrors, tactful little hints like, “Honey, I want an iPad for my birthday,” “Boys, if you’re wondering what to get me for my birthday and Mother’s Day, I want an iPad,” were some of the gentle hints I dropped.
The days were counting down, but I wasn’t sensing anything. Were they going to surprise me? Maybe I had confused them. They are men after all. So with another one of my masterful subliminal hints I gave it my last shot…”Attention: Everybody, I think it would be a great idea if you ALL chipped in together and got me an iPad.”
So, do you think I got the iPad? No.
Instead I got breast cancer. Well Happy F–king Birthday to me!
I immediately went into worrying; not about having breast cancer, I couldn’t change that, but how was I going to tell my family. Telling my mom was going to be the hardest, so the next day I went over to tell her. I waited and waited for her to sit down. She was driving me crazy! How can one person be so busy doing nothing? I'll deny that comment till the end.
Finally, she moves towards the couch. I take a deep breath preparing for what I have to tell her, and then with a quick turn she’s back at the sink having decided to water the plants! Murder was now on my mind! I was getting desperate so I did the only logical thing – I spoke to my father. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? He always knew how to help me with my mom. As I silently ask my father how to get my mom to sit down, he doesn’t fail me, because lo and behold she stubs her toe. Ok, that wasn’t what I had in mind, but I asked for help and as always, he delivered. Did I mention he passed away years ago?
As is my nature I told her everything with a positive attitude. Knowing I would do whatever it would take, I already considered myself a survivor and I told her so. I wasn’t going to let cancer change my outlook.
She was sitting there kinda numb-looking, trying to be strong for me as I was trying to be for her. So I continued talking and as happens from time to time I said something that she was less than pleased with. “You know, Mom, for some years now my breasts have only looked good when my hands were above my head. Think of the improvement a new pair could give me.” She looked at me in horror, not knowing if I was serious or joking; of course I was both.
So my breast cancer journey began … and I’m still waiting for an iPad.