I distinctly remember telling my husband that I did not want to tell my mom that I had cancer. I nearly texted her, “by the way I have cancer.” But like break ups and pregnancy announcements, that is not exactly something you text. Especially when she had been diagnosed with cancer just a year before you.
I found out after going for a routine pap smear shortly after having my son. It quickly came back with abnormalities, which I was told was common after giving birth. It took 16 months and three biopsies to come back as adenocarcinoma. It is not the rarest type of cervical cancer, but it is up there. My first thought after getting the diagnosis was, “will I be able to have any more kids?”
A flood of emotions came. I cried, a lot. Adenocarcinoma was not something I had ever heard of before, so I did not know what exactly to expect. But I knew that I would eventually have to grapple with my diagnosis and start this journey; and an important step in that journey is telling my family and including them on this wild ride.
My mom has always been there for me. She volunteered at my school from kindergarten all the way up to grade 12 and has traveled to Boston with my marching team in high school. So, while it was difficult to see her hurt by the news of my diagnosis while facing cancer nonetheless, there was some familiar comfort in having each other to go along this journey.
Another aspect of the cancer journey is the ability to still feel like yourself. With the number of tests, exams, and hospital visits, it is easy to ‘lose’ yourself. Cancer can be a big life disruptor, but it should not strip you of the ability to feel yourself. Looking ‘normal’ and feeling like yourself is a critical aspect of that. So, when my friend told me about Look Good Feel Better, I was excited to sign myself and my mom up for the workshop! I was in the cosmetic industry for over 10 years, but I still found the information helpful. Plus, it was such a joy to have my mom sitting next to me. We even shared a few laughs! Cancer is not fun but having fun outlets—like the workshops—is a great way to bring some joy to the journey.
Since being diagnosed, I have had surgery and am now in remission. There is no way I can change things now, but a part of me is grateful to share this experience with my mom. It has allowed me to have the greatest support system by my side, knowing exactly how I am feeling and what this means.
From today until March 31st, you have the special opportunity to support women facing cancer, like Laura Jean & Victoria by entering the 'Spring has Sprung' contest with our friends at French Dressing Jeans. For a chance to win 1 of 3 prizes and unlock a $1 donation in support of LGFB, visit your local boutique and post a picture of your in-store purchase on FB! Don't forget to tag @fdjfrenchdressingjeans! Head over the French Dressing Jeans' Facebook page to find out more.