I Missed One Reunion Due To Cancer — I Wasn’t Going To Let It Happen Again!Angela Banker
Three years ago my husband and I missed out on a reunion with friends we met in our dorm at college, all because I was in the middle of my breast cancer diagnosis. At that time, I did not want to commit to seeing friends I had not seen for over ten years. I did not want to have to sit through the gathering listening to all their great news while I was suffering on the inside. I did not want to be asked how I was doing, or what was going on in my life, and lie to them. I hadn’t told many people about my diagnosis at that time anyway. Because, let’s be honest, I was a little scared of the unknown.
Unfortunately, I missed out on wonderful conversations with those that I enjoyed visiting with back in my college years. I missed out on meeting their spouses and their children. I missed out on hearing all the good news that has come their way that was worth celebrating. Despite my own issues, I should have been there to cheer on the successes. I missed out on a lot that year. When it was announced that we were planning another get together, I made sure my husband and I were able to make it. I would not be missing another reunion!
With all of my hip pain that I had been experiencing, and all of the testing I was doing because of that pain, I was nervous again. Three years ago marked my cancer diagnosis, I was afraid I would be missing out on another reunion due to another cancer diagnosis. I was thrilled when my testing came back with no concerns and cleared the way to attend this reunion.
Eric, Emma, and I took off to the west side of the state just last weekend to attend this reunion. We fondly named it the Wild Boar-ish Get Together after a festival we all attended at college. It was such a fun time and brought back great memories. I always find it interesting in what my mind remembers. It tends to be the small things, a funny conversation here or there, a remembrance of a trip that was taken, the tender moments that I hold dear to my heart. This reunion was just good for the soul.
The get together was not as difficult as I thought the one three years ago would be have been. Yes, I was asked about my cancer. Of course I was! Was it the end of the world? No! More than anything, I needed to fill in the blanks for those that were missing pieces. You see, not many people know I am a third generation breast cancer survivor unless you know my family personally. Because of the family history, they may not have known I was proactive in early detection with starting my yearly mammograms at the age of 29. They may not know we had received three negative results for the BRCA gene mutations. They may not have known I opted for a prophylactic surgery that saved my life from an undetected invasive breast tumor. In the end, I was happy to share my news. I am here as a survivor, someone who has taken adversity and changed her life. I am someone who is ready to move mountains because of my experiences. This, I was happy to share.
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