It’s a funny thing about life, once we begin to take note of things we are grateful for, we begin to lose sight of the things we need. Suddenly, and without warning, breast cancer landed in my life. Physically planting itself within, threatening to risk my health ~ play with my mind.

It announced itself, formally, on yet another Monday morning that I sped into, before the sun rose in January of 2011. Michael, my son, was scheduled for yet another 8am surgery after his horrific accident back in October. This time to repair a ruptured vocal cord, discovered after a tracheotomy…not a complicated procedure, yet we were still in the messy moments of healing, as every injury was tended to and monitored, along with continual appointments in his fight to heal. As soon as he was registered and admitted, I stepped out to return home and get my husband, Jay, to the airport and then back to the hospital before Michael was out of surgery.

No problem ~ Schedules and commitments were in place.

I only had a ten minute drive to our home. What mattered, always does, is the next commitment ~ the next appointment … the time to and from is simply the space in between. Not two minutes into the drive, my cell phone rings; it’s Dr. Mark, my Internist, at exactly 8am.

“Sally where are you?”
“I’m driving on US1 back home to pick up Jay”
“Can you please pull over safely?”
“Of course” (internally ~ full of fear, in a flash)!
“Sally, Dr. Goodwin contacted me this morning to confirm that your tumor is cancerous.” “You need to see a Specialist, immediately”… Blank moments from than on, as I tried desperately to follow his conversation.


Ten minutes from A to B, took center stage. This thing ~ This monster broke out and roared from within. Frankly, I vaguely recall each step forward on that critical day. During the very same call, Dr. Mark emphasized my need to see a doctor “today”.

“Where do you want to go?”
“Wherever you would send your wife.” ….. I was in shock, yet pretty amazed at my quick response ~ Spot on!

The rest of our conversation is lost. I robotically put my car in drive, and went straight home; Dr. Mark had called Jay ~ we clung to each other, in shock and fear.

There were doctor’s to contact, family to call …. tears to shed.

We managed to see Dr. Rimmer that very day, who in reviewing my pathology confirmed Stage II Highly Irregular Ductal Carcinoma ie; Breast Cancer, and the game officially began.

My point here is the dire need for each of us diagnosed, regardless of who we are ~ where we are (in life), must allow ourselves to greet this diagnosis ~ this monster in a way that works for us.

Anger ~ Confusion ~ Fear will own us for a bit ……. allow it. Trust ~ Love ~ Support is everywhere …………………. embrace it. Healing ~ Treatment ~ Recovery is available ………… own it.

Sadly, we’ve been reminded, again, this past week that no one, in life, is immune from a crisis ~ Unexpected change!

How we react to, respond and honor who we fundamentally are defines each day ahead.

Dare I say “fast forward” to today. Yet, it has been six years.
I looked this monster, who attached from within, and said “You Lose”!

I chose to respond and work on my recovery … on my life emphasizing the things I am grateful for …. losing sight of the things I NEED!