I've unexpectedly found myself weeping twice today because of things I've inadvertently stumbled upon. First, I found this, a photographer's look at his wife's epic struggle with breast cancer. They are raw images, showing the day to day struggle this little family endures because of the "C" word. I admit I had to look away when I got to the photos showing Jen's treatment. Why?
It hit too close to home. My mum was diagnosed almost ten years ago with breast cancer, and too vividly did I remember similar bandages all over her body from chemo treatments and surgeries.
Tears, round one.
A few hours later, again, totally randomly, I found a review of the book Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader. The author was diagnosed about the same time as my mum, but she had a one year-old son. The Stud and I were old enough to grasp the severity of what was happening. How do you explain that to a one year-old without fear?
A picture book.
Tears, round two. Not because the memories were painful, like the images earlier in the day had been, but because I remembered how much my family grew and learned from that experience.
For example, boob jokes are essential. Throw in a couple of tummy tuck jokes and a coke, and a mutated cell doesn't look as horrific. Laughter became our cure, just like writing for Sue. And coke, let's be honest. Coke played a crucial role.
Then I shed a few tears because I wondered if I will ever have to read this book to my own child. With multiple instances of breast cancer in my family, my risks are even higher. (You better believe that I'm celebrating my thirtieth birthday with a date with the boob vice.) Will we be able to laugh together? I hope so, because the tears are not nearly as much fun.