Saturday, April 9, 2011


On December 20th, 2010, I sit down at the computer and begin my real journey: The one where I take off my goggles, put on my glasses and start Googling. (This is otherwise known as the "information-hunting-and-gathering" phase of life after a breast cancer diagnosis.)

The process of medical fact finding forever alters — in fact, downright bursts — the protective bubble we build around ourselves upon initially hearing the C word in the same sentence as our own name. But let me warn you: You better be ready. Because once you open the door to that world of info, the winds of change WILL come rushing in. And after that happens, the hands of time can never be turned back.

My fact-finding mission on this day shortly before the Christmas holidays uncovers a support group that I never knew existed. A community comprised of women of all ages and stages that congregates online to share their battles with breast cancer. It's a safe haven of sorts, a place where we can dump the most gruesome details of our cancer battle and find not only relief, but others who have been there, done that. It's a 24/7 sanctuary free from judgement, full of support and rampant with humor. Mothers representing daughters fighting the disease can be found here, as can daughters gathering strength for their moms. Even husbands have been known to join forces on behalf of their wives. Everyone is welcomed; you just need an introduction to The Big C.

There is safety in numbers, and that certainly is the case with the women fighting alongside me — they number in the tens of thousands on this group alone. We stand together, tall in our struggles, our hopes, our fears. We are united in our desire for a long life, a cancer-free future, and unlimited fun time with family and friends.

And I don't know how I could have gotten through it all without them. (See Ditching Control  and Curtain of Dead for more of my story.)

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