Finding the Right Time, Words to Tell About The Drumbeat in Her Head

Finding the Right Time, Words to Tell About The Drumbeat in Her Head
A Lump in the Road column “We have to tell Lauren," my husband Gary said. “One more day,” I replied, “Let’s just wait one more day.” Gary wrapped me in a hug, and told me we’d have to do it the following night. How could I tell Lauren, my daughter, about my cancer when I couldn’t even get my own head around it? I never wanted to tell my child that her mother had cancer. Our family had just taken six months off to live in Costa Rica where we surfed, hiked, and drank coconut juice straight from their shells. Yes, Lauren went to school, too, but we still found time to zip line and repel down waterfalls, tromp through jungles looking for monkeys and buy fresh fish right at our front door from a guy on a bike. How did cancer fit into this picture? I didn’t know anything about cancer then. I didn’t know cells were already forming a lump in my right breast the night our family danced on the beach saying goodbye to Costa Rica. I didn’t know that five short months after that spectacular sunset, Gary would find the lump, hard and well defined, just under the surface of my skin. And I didn't know I’d be gearing up for the fight of my life. Cancer. Triple Negative. Aggressive. Already spread. That was the consensus of the Friday Stanford Tumor Board, a parade of doctors, fellows, students, surgeons and nurses, that somehow, someway, my husband had, against all odds, gotten me into see. “Go home and pack a bag,” Dr. Gregory Vidal told us in his lilting D
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