“Every Story has an end, but in life, every end is just a new beginning.” ~ Dakota Fanning (Uptown Girls)
Adriana stayed with her daughter Kara. It was Kara’s birthday and a special one as the tween was turning into a teen. Together the two of them had planned a birthday party for Kara. Everything was going as planned. Just a day before the birthday, Adriana was scheduled for a routine checkup. After dropping Kara to school, she went for her appointment.
Her doctor was happy to see her but had a little surprise for her at the end of the checkup. He asked her to wait in his office. Adriana was a little worried when the doctor walked in with her reports. He informed her that there was a lump in her breast and they needed further investigations. He suggested a needle-guided biopsy to rule out malignancy. She agreed for the biopsy since the results would take some time and left the doctors office with mixed emotions.
On her way to school she was wondering whether to break the news to Kara or wait for the results first. Kara was so excited that she did not notice the grave expression her mother was holding back. Also, Adriana did not give a clue to what happened at the hospital. She quickly shifted the gear of both her car as well as her mood and joined in with Kara.
A week had passed since Adriana, first went to the doctor. She received a call from the doctor’s office confirming that the lump was malignant and Stage 2. At the mention of the word malignant, she asked the doctor whether it was cancer. The doctor confirmed it was cancer. At the mention of cancer, her stomach cringed and she felt her world spin. She could not believe what the doctor had just mentioned. Her mind was wandering here and there. The diagnosis indeed hit her hard.
That evening, Adriana could not help but look back at the numerous moments she had had with Kara. She could not help comparing her past with the present along with worry for the future. It seemed that she was saying goodbye to many lasts and hello to many firsts.
She did not want to say goodbye to her daughter who just turned another year older
She did not want to say goodbye to the first memory she created when she held her daughter for the first time
She did not want to say goodbye to be her daughter’s achievements – her first step, first walk, the first day at school, their fun dates, the shopping escapades, the travelling sagas
She did not want to say goodbye to a friend in her daughter
She did not want to say goodbye to her first kiss
She did not want to say goodbye to the heartache she felt when her husband passed away
She did not want to say hello to the fear that was haunting her
She did not want to say hello to the surgeries
She did not want to say hello to the radiation, chemotherapy and the after-effects of these procedures
She did not want to say hello to hair loss
She did not want to say hello to lost confidence
She just wanted the time to freeze, so that she could go back and unwind a lot of things
She wanted time to freeze so that she could see her daughter grow and graduate from college
That night Adriana went to bed with many thoughts which constantly kept disturbing her for the next two days. Finally, she took control of herself. She gave a call to her doctor and said yes for the lumpectomy. She offered her prayers to God since her doctor asked her to start the treatment right away. She also confided in her daughter, who despite her fears became her biggest strength.
She had almost 6 rounds of chemotherapy for which she shuttled between home and hospital. At home, she had her daughter’s support and the liberty of calling her doctors any time when in doubt. During the fourth round of chemotherapy, she met a plastic surgeon who discussed further actions and options for breast reconstruction. Before zeroing down on the final choice, she had many meeting with the plastic surgeon. She was happy that she had a wide range of options to be able to choose for her treatment.
Finally, she opted for double mastectomy along with tissue flap reconstruction. The tissue flap procedure was not an easy one. She opted for using her own body tissue rather than breast implants to reconstruct the shape of the breast. Since both the surgeries were done together she had an almost 15-hour long surgery, followed by 5 days in the ICU. When she finally went home she felt a new energy. She was optimistic and had shed off her fears. She was ready to say goodbye to the nightmares and hello to the many moments which were waiting for her.
Since that day Adriana cherished every moment. Kara’s graduation ceremony brought tears to her eyes because she knew how lucky she was to be there. Her life had a new perspective and she felt blessed to have a new life with her daughter.
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