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Back in 2012, I was asked to write a poem for a Breast Cancer Awareness event, once again, this is not my story but one dear to my heart, one that has affecting many of my love ones.

Survival Story

Sp_regby Soulistic_Poet®12 Jan 2014

I was only 23 when I got the news
Sitting alone in the doctor's office
Too much of an independent woman
To let my boyfriend know how much I needed him
Too much of a fighter
To let my family see me cry
I sat alone
Waiting for the results
Outside I displayed a brave face
No tears here
I have survived life before
And now I would do the same
Inside my heart was racing
My mind was going a million thoughts per second
In comes the doctor
"I'm sorry Ms. Miller
But it's stage 3 breast cancer"
I took a deep breath
Without skipping a beat
I kept up the pretense
I couldn't cry so I just smiled
And asked
What's next?

He spoke about doing more tests
Spoke about chemo
About removing my breasts
But I promise
It's as if the world pushed mute
I saw his lips moving but I heard nothing came through
As fast as my thoughts moved
It was like everything went into slow motion
He asked me if I would be okay driving home
He said he hated to see that I was going through this alone
And if there was anyone he could quickly telephone
I said I was okay
See in my head
It was as if I was someone else
This couldn't be happening to me

I can't recall the hours spent looking in the mirror that evening
How much of a woman would I be without my breasts?
Who would love me when they took away my best assets?
I cried myself to sleep that night
For three days no one heard from me
Ignored my parents calls
Avoided my boyfriend like the plaque
Treated my loved ones
As if they were the ones that planted the cancer cells into my body
On the fourth day
I received enough strength to fill them in
With the delivery of the news
I could just see the pain they were in
And my heart broke
Then I gave my breasts a gentle stroke
And announced my plan of action
I told them
Cancer can take my breasts
But I will not give it the satisfaction
Of taking my life or my soul
Giving up was not an option
Outside I was brave
Again I shed no tears
But inside I was dying
Being suffocated by all my fears

8 days after being diagnosed
There I was
Laid up in the hospital bed
Drugged up
And ready for them to cut me open
Ready for them to take away the only things I knew made me beautiful
I knew I made the right decision
But damn if logic seems hopeless
When we are overtaken by emotions
I couldn't help but think
"well this is it
My life is over before I'm even 26"
I couldn't help but feel pitied because my boyfriend stayed
I just knew he would leave once I healed
No one wants to be the one to leave the cancer stricken girl
Up and down with feelings
From this is a new beginning
To this is the end
From saying good bye to cancer
To feeling like I was losing my best friends
I went down memory lane
I remembered the first bra I bought
The first time a guy said a fresh remark and I pretended I was insulted
When the truth I was flattered
Would I still matter?
I mean
Once they take my breasts
Would this woman still matter?

6 weeks after surgery
Came the chemo
Wasn't enough I had to lose my breasts
I also had to lose my hair
Nothing about this seemed fair
Then one day walking through the hospital
I came across an old soul
Living in the body of an 8 year old
She was bald just like me
She waved
She smiled
And told me I was beautiful
I told her my beauty was nothing compared to her radiance
She told me about her leukemia
And how she will never give up the fight
She told the one thing she is sure of
Is that there's hope once there is life
And she will embrace each day that's given to her
Cause she never knows when she may die

It's been 3 years since my diagnosis
And I have been cancer free since then
And though my eight year old friend didn't win her battle
I have no doubt she saved a life
It's because of that little girl
I stand before you a mother and a wife
She taught me how to have hope again
How to love and be loved
She taught me true beauty is in the soul
And with or without my breasts
I am a woman
Complete and whole


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