Meet Breast Cancer Woman
Today’s guest post comes from Christina Dowling Olachia, a 37 year old mother of two wonderful, precocious boys, a wife and a breast cancer survivor. Christina’s stage 2B, Triple Negative Breast Cancer came on January 27, 2006 following a biopsy. Her blog, The Uniboob Club is all about finding humor in the journey.
Christina writes: ” I have faced this beast as I like to call her with humor. I don’t want to hide from these beautiful, and yet very uncertain moments in my life so I offer my story, my humor and my battle as a source of hope, inspiration and defiance in the face of this beast we call breast cancer.”
And now for Christina’s story…
Breast Cancer Woman
….After a long night of fighting cancer cells our super hero is back on the chemo couch. Suddenly Breast Cancer Woman springs to her feet to face her arch villain, The Beast! They stand toe to toe and eye to eye, circling, pacing with teeth clenched. The Beast reaches for BCW, but she is too late, BCW has already been juiced full of the Red Devil himself. BCW is grinning back at The Beast who begins to cower in fear. Still The Beast growls as Breast Cancer Woman begins to glow an iridescent red and yells “I’ll be back!” BCW just grins bigger as she grabs her trusty side kick, the IV Pole, and replies “No you won’t you friend, I have T.A.C.!”
A bit melodramatic, I know, but the truth is without a bit of humor, a willingness to fight and the determination to survive, Breast Cancer can’t be beat. I have been asked many times how I have kept such an upbeat positive attitude with the risk of death chomping at my heels. Well, I have done so with tons and tons, and I mean tons of humor and determination. I have never accepted anything less than the idea of beating the beast at her own game. Simply put: Defeat is not in my vocabulary. I will not be her victim nor will I allow my children to be left motherless. Does it mean I will never succumb to the beast? No, what it does mean is I won’t ever go down without throwing a punch or without a willingness to survive.
Did I ever see myself battling cancer, breast cancer no less, in my early thirties? No way baby! But you know what; I have had to face this demon over the last 3 years time and time again. I have lost my breast, no new news there, faced chemo, and the list goes on and on for miles and miles. If I really wanted to I could lie down, roll over and give up. No one would blame me and believe me I have had some of those moments behind the scenes, hiding behind my bright pink cape. But I will tell you giving up, giving in or losing heart has never been an option for me. Those options have not nor will ever be on the table, they are just not my cup of tea! It’s not that I am super woman made of steel because I am as far away from a hero as one can be. Seriously, you want to know what it is that keeps me strong. OK, I am game if you are: Allow me to let you in on my secret… TTF, the Three F’s. Yep you heard me right. Now you ask me what in tarnation those are? Well they are: Friends, Family and Faith, the three things that will see you through breast cancer.
So many times over the course of my struggle I have had these three strongholds, impassable fortresses carry me through diversity. I have not done any of this alone because the struggle for my life is not and has never been purely about myself. True it is my life, but I am not an island unto myself. So making myself an island now, in the middle of a fire fight while fighting for my life, most certainly is not the best way to defeat the beast.
I am a mother first. My children are the very reason I am determined to live, so it is their lives I put first. I am also a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. In each of these roles I have reasons to survive. In turn, these roles offer me hope, strength and determination to move forward, to fight and to overcome my own pain. The Three F’s are here to encourage, to push me a little when I need it and to hold my hand when I am afraid but never to pity or inadvertently wound me.
My strength has not come easily nor has it kept me from feeling the deep loss of my breast or my life as it was before. But in this journey, this fight I have found hope and a new sense of faith. Essentially I have been given a new me. I am secure in the woman I have become. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the friends I have made along the way. At the end of the day I am carried by unseen hands and in His might I am renewed and made strong again. I am whole in mind and in body even if what the world sees is a one boobed, uniboob woman in the wake of the beast’s attack.
Now back to the story…
Laughing BCW kicks The Beast out the door, shielding her chemo compatriots with her colorful bright pink cape. BCW’s boot imprint firmly glowing on The Beast’s scaly hind quarters Breast Cancer Woman returns to her own couch. As the sun sets, Breast Cancer Woman watches The Beast retreat. She sighs thankfully, given another day to fight off the enemy and another day to live if only in the shadow of the Beast…
Visit Christina’s blog at http://www.uniboobclub.blogspot.com/