The following is a personal story from Ida, an ambassador of MyBCTeam, the social network for women facing breast cancer. Below she shares how laughter helped her through her breast cancer diagnosis. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who ‘get it.’ Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer.
My 55th birthday was coming up in four days. I had dropped a million hints that I wanted an iPad. I hoped the discrete little hints that I left for my husband and sons were not too subtle for them not to catch on. Pictures of iPads taped on the refrigerator and bathroom mirrors, tactful little hints like, “Honey I want an iPad for my birthday,” “Boys if you’re wondering what to get me for my birthday and Mother’s Day I want an iPad,” were all gently hinted at.
The days were counting down but I wasn’t sensing anything. Were they going to surprise me? Maybe I had confused them, they are men after all. So with another one of my masterful subliminal hints I gave it my last shot…”Attention everybody, I think it would be a great idea if you ALL chipped in together and got me an iPad.”
So, do you think I got the iPad? No.
Instead I got breast cancer. Well Happy F–king Birthday to me!
I immediately went into worrying; not about having breast cancer, I couldn’t change that, but how was I going to tell my family. Telling my mom was going to be the hardest, so the next day I went over to tell her. I waited and waited for her to sit down. She was driving me crazy! How can one person be so busy doing nothing; a comment I’ll deny till the end.
Finally she moves towards the couch. I take a deep breath preparing for what I have to tell her, and then with a quick turn she’s back at the sink having decided to water the plants! Murder was now on my mind! I was getting desperate so I did the only logical thing – I spoke to my father. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? He always knew how to help me with my mom. As I silently ask my father how to get my mom to sit down, he doesn’t fail me, because lo and behold she stubs her toe. Ok, that wasn’t what I had in mind, but I asked for help and as always, he delivered. Did I mention he passed away years ago?
As is my nature I told her everything with a positive attitude. Knowing I would do whatever it would take, I already considered myself a survivor and I told her so. I wasn’t going to let cancer change my outlook.
She was sitting there kinda numb looking, trying to be strong for me as I was trying to be for her. So I continued talking and as happens from time to time I said something that she was less then pleased with. “You know mom, for some years now my breasts have only looked good when my hands were above my head; think of the improvement a new pair could give me.” She looked at me in horror, not knowing if I was serious or joking, I of course was both.
So my breast cancer journey began…and I’m still waiting for an iPad.
Stay tuned to my journey through breast cancer, where laughable moments always present themselves.