It’s Gonna Be Fine
At work, people make fun of me because I say that a lot.
“It’s gonna be fine.”
“It’ll be fine.”
Honestly, I can’t remember if I said this pre-cancer or if it was a phrase I embraced after my diagnosis.
What I do remember is the day I got the phone call telling me I did in fact have breast cancer. I remember I texted my sister the little information I received. She asked if I had tears (I’m a crier). I texted her, “No, I’m fine.” She texted back, “How can you be fine?!”
“Fine” was all I knew to be. What else could I be?
That afternoon after the phone call there was nothing I could do to “fix” anything. I didn’t have all the information yet. I hadn’t met with the medical team. I was told I wouldn’t learn a “stage” until after surgery. I didn’t even know what “stage” meant when the doctor said it. I just had to take this bit of breast cancer information in and wait for more information. I waited 8 days to learn more.
The meeting with the medical team was…fine. I liked the breast surgeon. She was funny. She smiled. She talked a mile-a-minute but she was kind and reassuring. She seemed knowledgeable. In my journal I wrote that my oncologist was “more clinical.” Turns out she was also pretty funny and I actually really miss her! The radiation oncologist was also funny (this was the team for me!) but didn’t say too much because they thought I probably wouldn’t need radiation.
It was during this meeting with the team that I learned I would need chemotherapy. That was the first “not fine” part for me. I cried. I thought about losing my hair and worried that I would look sick. This isn’t the kind of cancer I wanted. As if I had control over that. As if I wanted ANY kind of cancer.
Chemo is scary. It makes people look sick. People look weak. They lose their hair. I was scared of it all. I’m here now telling you, it was not as scary as I thought. I’m very grateful to say my experience with chemotherapy was pretty fine. More on that in another post.
I was diagnosed January 19, 2021. That’s my “cancerversary.” Last year was full of so many tests, treatments, decisions, and surgeries. But I’m here and I’m fine. I’m pretty great actually.
I’m saying this as an almost 41-year-old, “healthy” woman. With an almost 4-year-old son. With all our family several states away. The year has not been easy- tears, baldness, weakness, fatigue, cussing, frustration, and more.
But I am choosing to take this cancer thing and spin MY story, MY way. I’ll tell you the times I broke down but also all the awesome things I’m taking from cancer. I’m not letting it have control over me. I AM FINE.
About the Author:
Kelly Klehm is a breast cancer survivor who uses writing as a tool to share her experiences. She will be joining us monthly to share her journey with us. You can find more of her writing on Forge’s blog.