August 3, 2012
Finding out I had breast cancer was hard. And I know that things are going to get harder. I have surgery, recovery and reconstruction to go through. We won't know about chemo until after the surgery and they check the lymph nodes. I know I am going to have to be tough. But there was something I had to do that I was not looking forward to. And I was the only one that could do it. It had to be me. I had to tell Mattie that I had this horrible disease.
She is a smart girl. Her understanding of things is so different than other six year olds. We just never know how she will react to things. With Mattie, there will always be questions no matter what. I've always said that is why she is so smart. She asks questions and her brain hangs on to them like a sponge.
Every summer Mattie spends a month with her dad. We can call her any time we want, he is good about that, but it is hard to get to see her. It is after all his time and we try not to interfere with it as much as we can. And not to mean, but I didn't want to tell him what was going on because I couldn't take a chance on Mattie finding out from him. This is my journey and I wanted to be the one to tell her. I had to be the one to tell her. I guess I was being a little selfish.
I called him to see if she could spend a little time with us while Ralph was here. He agreed and I was elated. I picked her up on Friday afternoon before anyone else got off work. This gave me a chance to talk to her. UGH! How was I going to do this? God give me strength!!
I asked her if she remembered feeling of the lump I had found in my breast. She did.
I explained to her how I had gone to the doctor and he deadened my skin so I couldn't feel anything and cut it out. I asked her if she wanted to see where it came out and of course she did. She felt of it being careful not to hurt me. She asked me if it hurt. I explained how he gave me a shot so I couldn't feel anything but that it would hurt if it got bumped so we had to be careful when she would snuggle with me, but that it really didn't hurt.
Then we talked about the doctor sending it off the part they cut out so they could find out what it was. We talked about the word cancer and explained to her how they are bad cells, how they make people really sick. I told her these cells, this lump that she had felt was cancer and the doctors had to get rid of this from Lolo's body. We talked about how I would go into the hospital and the doctors would get rid of this cancer by taking the tissue (yes, she knows what that means) out of my body. She asked me to explain what they were taking and I told her how they would take both of my breast and send them off to some other doctors that could test them and see how bad these cancer cells were. We talked about how I would look different for a while but that the doctors were going to build me some more breast to take there place.
She thought about this for a little bit and this is the only time she started to cry. I told her it would be OK and the Lolo and Grumpy had both cried because we were upset these yucky cancer cells were in there. "But," she said "I don't want you to have to have fake boobs for the rest of your life. You'll get tired of the straps falling down!"
OK I must admit, I was very lost!! I asked her what she was talking about.
"Well Lolo, you know Mommies bra with the fake boobs, the straps fall down sometimes. I don't want that to bother you forever."
LOL Lolo got a little tickled, grabbed her up and hugged her as tight as I could. I explained to her that these fake ones wouldn't be on the outside of my body, but that the doctors would put them inside my body where they can't be seen and that they would do several surgeries to make them look as real as they could.
She gave me that precious smile with her eyes lite up so that I could tell she understood.
Again I knew that everything was going to be OK.
Tonight as we drove back to her dad's, we talked about how she could tell anyone she wanted to that Lolo had breast cancer and to tell them that she was going to be OK, but if she had any questions, that she was to only ask Lolo, Grumpy or Mommie because they are the only ones that can answer her questions about what is going on with Lolo, and that if we didn't have the answer, we are the only ones that can call the doctor and ask.
Now I can go into my surgery knowing she knows the truth and will prayer her sweet little prayers for me to get better.
Everything is going to be OK!
Until next time, God bless.