To my daughters

October 22nd, 2011

It’s hard not to be noticed when you are a woman with no hair. Naturally people want to ask you about cancer. It is pretty much assumed if you are a bald woman that you have cancer. Probably in 99% of the cases that holds true. But about the cancer…everyone is very curious about it. What kind I have, what stage it is, what the prognosis is, what the treatment is like, and other such concerns. Before I answer their questions I make sure to tell them about the blog so they can read more for themselves. And then the story behind the name of it, because that is the next question they ask!

To reiterate that story….

It started at my surgeon’s office, Dr. Cody Gunn. As you can imagine, the first thing a woman thinks of when you are meeting with the “surgeon” and you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, is whether or not we are going to lose our most precious assets. So the first lucid question I could think to ask is:”Doc, give it to me straight. Are you going to have to hack off my boobs?” to which he replied, after some deliberation,

Boob is a weekend word. During the week we call them breasts.

So I thought “Boob Is A Weekend Word” was a fitting title of this cancer story.

Emma and Erin, my beautiful daughters

Then there is always an acknowledgement of how great it is that I am putting myself out there for all the other women who are going through or may go through this in their life. And that is one benefit of this blog, but if I’m being honest, the real reason I have been so deliberate and consistent with maintaining the blog is for my daughters.

One day when I am well again, and all of this is behind me, it will still hold a deep memory for them. It will be a year of their childhood that was spent while cancer visited us. The year that mom lost her hair and it came back silver. The year mom had surgery with scars that healed slowly. The year mom occasionally had enough pain or discomfort that they had to go fetch my medicines. The year mom constantly asked them to turn the fan on and off with every heat flash. The year mom wasn’t in a great mood all of the time and not able to spend as much time with them as she should. When they are older, they will understand.

When they are older, even young women, they will have to take extra precautions to be very aware of the signs of breast cancer themselves. While I don’t have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, there are clearly other genes at work exist that flipped on one day in my body. If that is true, then those genes may be within them, and they may one day also go through this.

I write this blog with them in mind with every word.

I have documented the pathology of the cancer, every blood count, every surgery or procedureevery surgical photo, every side effect, every chemotherapy session, every radiation session, and really anything that I hope will be useful for them if they ever go through this.

So while I write with humor on occasion, I take this disease very seriously, and my treatment very seriously. I have chosen to have the most extreme treatments available for the type of breast cancer I have. I do this with the hopes that I won’t have a recurrence, and that cancer will have visited my household and family for the last time.

Emma and Erin, my precious girls, this is for you.

  1. Beverly says:

    Thank you Stephanie for your witness to your girls and to all of us! I pray for you daily! I know Joann is sending you all of her strength and we all know how amazing that was! Keep up the good work!
    Love to all, Bev