Adriane's Silver Linings

I always figured that I would fight cancer at some point in my life. I just didn’t fiure that I would be 43 years old when it happened! I tell people that I did all of the “right” things that the experts tell us to do. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I eat lots of fruits and vegtables, very little red meat and I exerceised 45 minutes a day, 5 to 6 days a week.

So what happened? Well bad genetics for one thing. You see my family tree grows in the compost of cancer. My mother, father, sister, aunt, grandmother and even my brother had some form of cancer and it took all of them except my father.

I tell people that it was an itch that changed my life. April 6, 2011, I was sitting at the same computer that I am currently sitting at and scratched an itch on my right chest wall. Suddenly my fingers found a hard, immobile lump. I think I held my breath while I figured out I had found cancer. There was no doubt in my mind and I didn’t need a physician to tell me what my mind and body already new. I had breast cancer.

A great deal of the next few weeks are a blur, physicians, tests, biopsies and finally a mastectomy with axillary lymphectomy. I guess I should tell you that I have been doing martial arts for about 4 years. Many of the state management tools that I learned in class, became my weapons to deal with the fear of my diagnosis. Crazy as it may sound, I never knew that an MRI machine could tell me to ‘die, die, die’ but that is sure what it sounded like laying in there for a scan. So I did forms, kicking combinations, grappling techniques… all in my head (SL).

Chemo was horrible that is all I have to say for it. But in between the red death(Adriamycian and cytoxin) and Taxol, I took my red one test and passed. I have no idea how in 90 degree heat with a full gi for two hours, but I did. That made the next 12 weeks bearable. I was lucky because radiation was not recommened for me(SL). I finished in October 2011 and as much as I wanted to celebrate. I was just too tired! 

In December 2011, I started reconstruction and I will have my exchange in 
September 2012. Why so long? Because I am (silver lining) testing for my first degree black belt this summer!! I use to worry about being able to get through the black belt experience. I don’t any more because I have been through the Pink belt experience and I am know I can do this.

Cancer helped me figure out who I really am and what I really want in my life (SL). Friends at work, and my sons school were amazing and they helped to take care of my family(SL) while I was trying to take care of me. I do not recommend putting this experience on your bucket list, but there is something about the experience that made me into a different person. I know myself now, better then I did before. I grew a backbone and I use it now. I am happy, I am strong and I am thriving…one day at a time. Which makes something in every day, a silver lining.

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