I remember awaking to panic attacks then desperately wishing to go back to sleep forever because any dream or even nightmare was better than facing such an intimidating reality. I remember lying on the floor, unable to get up because my body felt completely numb and my insides felt empty. Then I felt confused, guilty, hopeless, and terrified, all at the same time.
My mom and husband had to drag me out of bed and then take me to dozens of doctors to discuss the details of my diagnosis and our plan of action for treatment. We learned that I had an aggressive form of cancer that would require both surgery (mastectomy) and a regimen of chemotherapy with extremely nasty side effects. I remember crying when I was told that I would be poked with needles on a regular basis and that I would lose all of my hair. Little did I know then that those things would actually be the easy part of my upcoming year. I truly had no idea what I was up against, but I knew that I did not want to die.
On my one year “cancerversary,” I feel so much gratitude towards all my loved ones and friends who supported me as I was going through treatments, and also those who reached out to me afterwards. I wouldn’t have made it without my husband. Barry and my mom were right by my side every single day, my best friends cheered me up with numerous visits, and my baby boy gave me a reason for fighting. Ryan deserves to have a healthy mommy that is here for a long time! So many people have sent me encouraging messages and thoughtful gifts, and others have found various ways of supporting breast cancer awareness in honor of me. Thank you all for your support throughout this crazy year, and I will always remember how special and loved that you made me feel.