Four years ago I was curled up on my bathroom floor replaying the shocking end of my long-term relationship (almost engagement). I was fully convinced that people died of broken hearts and therefore spent every single day of almost an entire year lamenting this very thought.
Long story short, happy go lucky Robbie was depressed. So, when my mother called one mid-October evening for our normal daily convo, I listened to her chipper and joyful voice with a frown on my face. “Yes mom, Sherri Shepherd is wonderful on ‘The View,’ yep….”
Then all of a sudden there was a stillness I had never heard before in my mother’s voice, and these exact words followed, “I need to tell you something.”
My frown deepened and my brain rattled with the thought that all only-children living thousands of miles away from their single parent have, ”No. No! Please don’t say you’re dying…PLEASE!”
Yet before I could fix my lips to say any form of this, my mother announced that she had Breast Cancer. “What?” I whispered. All feeling left my body and white lights dotted my already black reality. The very thoughts that consumed me a few seconds before are now floating outside my head.
My mother calmly stated, “Just because I have Breast Cancer don’t mean I’m going to die. God revealed this to me way before the doctors did, so [sucks teeth] everything is going to be just fine. GIRRRRRL, [chuckles] I can finally get that breast reduction I’ve always wanted! Look at God! Oh and Robbie, the operation [under her breath] the double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery I will be having [full voice] is scheduled over Thanksgiving while you are here in Arizona! Look at God.”
Whoa, wait, what?! I was so confused. Before I could even form a thought, my mom was off to BINGO and I was left thinking, “That was clearly an episode of ‘Punk’d’ right?” Nope. It was real. Both the Cancer in my mother’s body and her unwavering spirit were definitely real.
So, in attempt to handle the massiveness of my emotions, I laid on my tear-flooded bathroom floor once again. Only this time, just as I was about to high five misery at the door, a voice in my head said, “No. If your mother can have Cancer and still smile, you can get over this breakup. Stop this pity party right now.”
And I did. With things now in full-perspective, I began to move forward, focusing all my energy on being the daughter I knew my mother (despite her glee) needed. Some days were hard, but most days were possible because my momma fought and beat Cancer like it stole something!
I was and am still both shocked and inspired by how she refused to let Cancer steal her joy, faith, peace or life. Her strength in the midst of what some label a “death sentence” was absolutely unreal. I always knew she rocked a “S” on her chest but now I know that behind that “S” is a Faith made of steel. My mother is undoubtedly a Cancer survivor because of the power of God and His presence in her life. And today, four years later and almost 60 years wise, my momma is Cancer-free and still killin’ em at BINGO!