Everyday I am amazed at the strength and grace I see at work in the lives of the women I interact with as they struggle to deal with their breast cancer. Today was no different.
I met C.P two weeks ago after that fateful biopsy revealed the dreadful news for cancer. She is a 38 year woman who moved to the US 2 years ago to start a new life for herself. This unfortunately means that she qualifies for NO federally funded insurance and cannot simply not afford the payments on the plan offered by her part-time employer(in my state you must be in the US for 5 years to qualify for state aid).
Needless to say C.P. has done her share of crying in my presence. Today I accompanied her to the consultation to the medical oncologist, the doctor who will order the chemotherapy medications. She saw the surgeon last week and since then has had several body scans looking at various body organs to determine the extent of her cancer. She is very nervous when we go into th exam room to meet the doctor.
After reviewing her history, all the reports and a thorough exam, the doctor tells CP that there are several small areas in her lung that could be cancer. If this proves true it means the disease is now considered Stage 4, treatable but not curable. The doctor also tells her that she has what is known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Much less common, always more aggressive, and more frequently seen in women of color. CP has difficulty making eye contact with the doctor for much of the visit. She needs to remain strong.
When the doctor steps out of the room CP tells me that she is a Christian and that she has been praying. Yes, I reply, prayer can gives us strength. She asks, are you Christian, Paige. Yes, I tell her. The doctor returns to the room and reviews the things that need to occur next, a new long list of people to talk with and tests to be done. This is such a difficult process. So much new information, so many appointments, so much stress.
As CP and I say good-bye for now she tells me ” I am not going to let this cancer beat me, I am going to beat it.”
She is so strong. She is so beautiful. She is so courageous. And today she is hopeful.
I am so blessed and honored to have such a place in the lives of so many beautiful women.
- How To Do A Self Breast Exam – Visual, Standing, Lying Down (healthhype.com)
- Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment (mycancerbiology.wordpress.com)
- Not to be a downer – but Cancer is the subject (juliarferry.wordpress.com)