Community Magazine

I Need to Know

By Countesstt @CountessTT

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

Cancer was this horrible word that we heard all the time on the news and in conversations with friends and family but maybe we didn’t really pay that much attention because it wasn’t something that would ever happen to us.  Wrong.  It seemed like one of those things where you’d hear someone say, “So and so has (fill in the blank) cancer.  Isn’t that sad.”  Then they would go on about them as if they had a death sentence or already had one foot in the grave.  There were always news reports about different studies and research relating to various types of cancer but again, I only partly paid attention to that.  I knew that I had no choice now but to dig right in and learn as much as I could.  This was now affecting my life in a very big way.
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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