The first 24 hours: finding hope after my terminal cancer diagnosis

Photo credit: Mind of Hammad

Photo credit: Mind of Hammad

I woke up and got ready for my 1st Oncologist appointment. A week earlier, I had gotten the news that the mass in my left breast was cancerous and I was sent to get MRI’s. PET and CT scans. In the meantime I had gotten myself informed on breast cancer and the various treatments available. I was going into my doctors appointment with determination and fearlessness.

1st Hour: “So, Ma’am, now that you know, do you have any questions?”

…Silence…

My husband Brian spoke up: “She doesn’t know.”

“Know what?” I asked.

The doctor’s face expressed anxiety.

I asked, “what is going on?”

She started talking. Brian reached for my hand and she said, “You have stage IV breast cancer…it has metastasized to the liver and there are considerable sized tumors.”

“What…” I gasped for air, “what does this mean? Do I have liver cancer?”

“No, what you have is breast cancer and it has traveled to your liver. What this means is that your disease is terminal.”

I did not know what terminal meant. I knew that I knew what it meant, but in that moment the use of language and ability to understand basic terms became undiscerning to me. Confusion and sudden silence overwhelmed me. She rambled on about medications, chemo, radiation and stopping my cycle right away.

I asked, “What can I do to preserve my fertility?”

She responded with firmness and compassion, “You can never get pregnant again…your cancer is estrogen-fed and we need to block all your estrogen right away.”

In that moment I surrendered. I left my body. I could see her and my husband’s lips moving and but what I was able to hear and process was a faint whisper.

Oh My God I am dying. Is this how the cookie crumbles for me? She showed me a chemo room and introduced me to the chemo nurses, but I was not there. I shut down.

The only question I asked after was “How can I get cured?”

She responded, “You can’t; there is no cure and you have a ten percent chance of survival. You can live a couple of more years, but it appears that your cancer is aggressive and we really don’t know how you will respond to the chemo.”

I walked out of her office, looked at my husband and said, “She is fired.”

He looked at me perplexed. “I don’t want her touching me,” I said.

“Why?”

“She doesn’t believe I can be cured.”

What happened in the next 24 hours was the work of the Angels. Can you believe that after my terminal appointment I went to my father’s birthday party? I couldn’t believe I was going to a party, but I thought hey, I may be dying, so I might as well go be with family. At the party I was laughing and taking all my loved ones in. My twin Goddaughters asked if they could go home
with me. I said yes. Angels they were for me because as children they wanted my attention and love, so I was not able to obsess about my news.

That evening, I woke up scared and searched for hope on the internet on Stage IV Cancer. I found none. It was heart breaking. I cried all night long. I was not ready to die nor accept my fate.

The next day I went to work, told my secretary my news and asked her to cancel my appointments. We cried and then she excused herself.

A few minutes later, hope entered my life and nourished my soul. Hope came to me via a colleague of mine whom I had chatted with but was not very close to. this colleague reached for me and hugged me. She looked into my eyes and said, “You are going to be FINE. You are going to be fine.”

She said, “I am a breast cancer survivor and I will tell you all you need to know. But more importantly you need to know that you are going to be FINE. ” As she started talking and sharing her life story with me, I felt my spirit coming back into my body. I felt like I was starting to feel myself breathing again. She spent 2-3 hours talking to me and reassuring me that I am in God’s hands and that I am OK. She said cancer will teach me so many things about life and myself. “You will learn that we are all here on this earth for a spiritual awakening and that you are not a victim.”

She shared with me that she was cancer-free and happy to live her life with her family. She is only 5 years older than I and she is beautiful of spirit and being. She runs and works and lives a full life. I needed to see her and take her all in to hold her as my guide. After my chat with her, I was convinced it is possible to heal and be CURED.

“You need to change,” she said. “Whatever you have been doing it is depleting you of your life force energy. You need to be radical to heal this one. You need to detox your mind and body.”

Here are the healing tips she shared with me:

1. Juice
2. No sugar
3. No meat
4. Greens eat all the time
5. Exercise
6. Laugh
7. Love God
8. Spiritual Practice
9. Psychotherapy
10. Cancer is a business
11. Find a Doctor you love
12. Accept fate.
13. Practice letting go
14. We are all here on this earth knowing we will die so accept death and so that you can embrace living.
15. And trust me Angels will come into your life
16. You will feel love by God in ways that you had not been aware of before

I felt hopeful and safe. I followed my friend’s advice and welcomed support in many divine ways. It took me a year of chemo, a mastectomy and follow-up treatment, but I am now cancer-free.

In spite of cancer I laughed, loved and traveled. I have also grieved, angered and hurt. In spite of cancer, I have been living life.

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One thought on “The first 24 hours: finding hope after my terminal cancer diagnosis

  1. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. You are my lifeline while I live a similar story and struggle with fear and sadness.

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