Now that we had the diagnosis and had some time to talk about it over dinner, I still was not ready yet to go home. We headed to the nearest bookstore because I wanted to get a book so that I could start educating myself on the subject of breast cancer. This was a whole new world for me. For us. We didn’t know much of anything about cancer generally or breast cancer specifically. It wasn’t something that had touched our lives too much in a direct way up to this point but we had known others that it had.
|My Mommy & I - 1967|
When I found the Health section at the bookstore I was completely overwhelmed at how many books there were on the subject of cancer! There were rows and rows of them. I had no idea what type of book to get or where to start or why I was even in a position that I had to be looking at books like this. Before I knew it, I was crying again. I stood there in the cancer section of the bookstore and I was lost. I wanted my Mommy. I wanted her to come by and sweep me up in her arms and tell me she loved me and that everything was going to be okay and that we were going to go home where we’d be safe and happy forever. Just like the time I got lost in Woolworth’s when I was a little girl.
I ended up choosing the only book on breast cancer that I could find that was published in Canada. I would end up with several books in the coming weeks from various sources and made sure to try to read only what applied to my situation. There is also a lot of research material online. However, you can over-read I think. It is something that would be different for everyone so I just did what seemed best for me. Mike too had a book that was geared to spouses and perhaps that helped him a bit. I know it made me feel better that he had something to refer to when he had no idea what to do. We were in this together.
I started reading that book right away but I made sure to hide it from the kids until we had a chance to talk to them. The first thing I learned was that cancer is the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells. Little cells that grow rapidly. These cells can invade and destroy surrounding tissues. They can also break away from the tumour and go into the blood system. This means that the cells could spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). These cells are tiny but a force to be reckoned with.
I was determined to stop them.
I Need to Know - Marc Anthony
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