What would you tell yourself if you could knowing all you do now? This is a question while working with Wisdo we often ask people we are interviewing. Whenever we ask it I think in my head how I would answer and every time it is different. Five years ago I found that stupid dumb lump, five years ago everything changed at that moment. If I could go back and tell myself something I do not think I could stop at just one. These last five years have been life changing but had I known what I know now it would have I would have a lot to say to myself.
Five years ago I wish I would have left the damn dishes in the sink that night more. Seems silly I know but I remember so many times stressing over the dishes because people were stopping by and I did not want it messy. So stupid! It added stress to me and my family (cause they didn’t care about the dishes but they cared about me). Leave the dishes AM! Had I known how long my body would have taken to recover I would not have pushed myself so hard, I would have napped more not rushed to the gym. I had this pink perfect image of recovery and I wanted that. Breast Cancer is not pink, AM! Knowing what I do now I really would have asked my friends to help out more, I realize they need it just as much as I did. You get by with a lot of help from your friends, AM.
Five years ago I really believed that early detection was the end all cure all. They say you are "safe after 5 years", well they only research for 5 years so of course they say that. I wish I would have know that in the beginning because I was so excited to get here, now I am here and not so thrilled! I would have asked more questions about recurrence, the spread, and the death rate.The friends that I have lost I do not for a moment wish I never knew them I just wish I had known that while breast cancer does not kill when it spreads it sure does. As much as it may have scared me when I found out later the fear was just as intense. ASK more questions! The doctor is your employee they work for you and they need to take the time for you. Uneasy then get out! Had I known that my body could have waited for reconstruction I would have waited. There is no right or wrong way to handle this and that is something I learned over these last long 5 years. I just wish I had known that at the start.
Five years ago I wish I had known just how much this would have affected my family. Tom realized fast that this was unfixable which I think was the hardest thing he has ever done. I did not understand the true depth of their feelings until my first-year check and I saw the fear. And every appointment since. The one thing I know for certain they held me up whether they realize it or not my boys did just that. What I do know is that Ben was able to write about his emotions to help others, that Sam was the one to push for that 1st Cape Cod trip that we desperately needed, that Anthony was there to snuggle Julian and read him a book and that Julian as young as he was would sit on a stool next to me twirling my hair telling me “it’s ok Momma” all while Tom let his boys see him cry just once to let them know sometimes you just have to. When I look back at five years of this stupid dumb breast cancer this is the biggest thing that I did not know, how awesome my family could be if I needed them to help me keep my tiara straight and shiny,