Erica drove me home and we sat in her car and she told me that she would be there for me in every capacity that she could be. She told me that this was going to be the hardest thing in my life but I would get through. We hugged goodbye and planned to meet the following week for dinner after her infusion. We both came from Italian families who appreciated a great meal and I told her that my boyfriend and I knew all the best spots and we would make a tradition out of it.
I walked into my house and everything felt weird. My boyfriend was anxiously waiting for me to get home so that we could talk about my appointment earlier that day. I sat down on my steps to the kitchen and just broke down. It was uncontrollable. I was scared. Scared for my future. Scared for my relationship. I couldn’t be there. I immediately felt like I needed to get out. I couldn’t hold my tears in another second. I told him I was so scared not only for my life and everything I was about to endure, but for our relationship. I listened to what Erica said about how difficult it was to get through as a newlywed and I couldn’t help but worry about our five year relationship. We loved each other but I knew that I was about to go through hell and wouldn’t be able to focus any attention on being a girlfriend and partner. I feared that things would fall apart and said, “maybe we should just end this right now, this is going to be a hellish ride and I don’t want you to have to go through it too.” He told me I was crazy and that he would never leave me, that I was there for him during the hardest time in his life and he would be there for me, and that he loved me and the last thing I should worry about is our relationship. He told me all I needed to focus on was getting though this and coming out on the other end healthy. He told me that before we knew it, we would be in Italy and this would all behind us. He made me feel safe and in that moment I relinquished my emotions and let it all go. I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of making it through. In that moment I put 100% focus on going full speed ahead to being healthy again on the other side of hell.
He suggested I go to the spa the following day. He had recently given me a big gift card at the trendiest spa in town and a day of relaxation was just what I needed. I called and the happened to have an opening. This was perfect. I needed this.
I went to the spa the next day ready to zen out. It was every bit of perfect in there. I changed into my cozy robe and sat in an uncomfortably quiet waiting room and sipped on some tea. It was too quiet, I couldn’t drown out my thoughts and worries. I thought to myself, if I don’t cut this out, there is no way I would be able to enjoy this massage. Think zen thoughts, think zen thoughts… errrrrr I have cancer. I have a flashback to sitting in the waiting room at my mammogram that day. The fucking terror of that day. “Janine?” a soft voice calls. Follow me.
I disrobe and get on the table. I go to lay on my stomach and realize that I am still incredibly sore and uncomfortable from my biopsy. Not happening. When the massage therapist came back she asked how I was and if i was comfortable. ” I have cancer.” What is wrong with me, why did I just say that! “Oh my gosh I am so sorry,” she says. Why did I just say that? I mean there is a way to tell someone and that wasn’t it! It was like word vomit. I let her know that I couldn’t lay on my stomach and told her I was going to try and “zen” out but instead I did the complete opposite. I laid there for 90 minutes and sobbed and told her my entire story.
The massage was over and I had no recollection of it. What a waste. I went into the locker room and decide that I will go in the steam room and then take a really long shower. I needed to get some peace dammit!
I am in the shower for a significantly long time, finally at peace when I have a flashback to about five years prior. I was sitting in my naturopathic doctors office complaining about my recent weight gain. I couldn’t understand why I was gaining weight all of a sudden mainly all in my breasts. I already had big breasts and they were seemingly growing even bigger. I already had chronic back pain and this was just unacceptable. I told her I hated them. I hated my breasts. She looked at me, very seriously and said “You know, you have to learn to love your breasts because if you hate them, you will end up with breast cancer.” What…the…fuck… She then proceeded to hand me over a copy of The Secret. I was confused, annoyed, and of course a little freaked out so I purchased the book.
Now I am not doubting the law of attraction and I even try to practice it almost daily, but now standing here, five years later, with a Breast Cancer diagnosis I can’t help but blame myself and that just seems ridiculous. Or was it my breasts? Have they turned against me?! Should I be apologizing? I am sorry boobs, I am sorry I didn’t love you more… This is ridiculous! I couldn’t have possibly gotten breast cancer because I had a negative connotation with these big things.
I get out of the shower and my attention draws to my reflection. I look different. I almost don’t recognize myself. I feel different. I feel like I will never feel the way I did everyday prior to February 8, 2016. How could I? Everything has changed. I am not invincible. This is happening.