This morning started out with an argument with my dearly beloved "Q" and before it escalated to something worse, I decided that I would shut up and leave and when we were both calm, we would discuss the overdraft issue. Both of us were reacting badly to what the other was trying to communicate and since were were just misunderstanding each other's message, it was best I shut up and leave. He was mad, and I was mad, and I think both of us were hurt, so...enough.
Then I was listening to the radio on my way to my sister's house this morning. I'm a channel changer, I go up and down the dial, and I listen to KQRS and 107.1 FM's Ian and Marjorie show. It was during one of the commercials for Ian and Marjorie that I heard Kevin Burger detailing her recent diagnosis of breast cancer and that she would be later discussing this topic this morning on her show, The Kevin and Colleen show. I almost drove off the road. When her show came on, I was at home and I pulled out the only radio I have that will pick up the station to listen to what she had to say.
After the Race for the Cure, a Breast Cancer charity fundraiser in which most of the 107.1 FM radio personalities participated, Kevin was scheduled for a mammogram. She also has a monthly breast self-examination that she does Live on her radio program. It was after this mammogram, that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, possibly Stage 2 or 3. She is scheduled for a right breast mastectomy, with reconstruction, and a follow-up of chemotherapy. She was on an hour of her 3 hour show. It was emotional to say the least.
Kevin is a well-known television and radio personality here in the Twin Cities. She is fifty years old, with 3 kids, and a near newlywed to her husband of a year and a half. She makes her living making conversation and she is straight up funny and to the point and I love listening to the topics she discusses on the radio. She's her own person and she is every woman, all at the same time. And like every woman who has to face this diagnosis, she is asking, Why me? Why now? What can I do?
I fell apart listening to her in my kitchen, tears streaming down my face, especially when she said that her children would be forever changed because of this. They have no idea!
It reminded me of when my mother was diagnosed over 7 years ago, and the feelings that ran through me and the fear of the possibility of losing my mother. I remember the surgery, the recovery, the complications, the pain she had to go through, and the relief after one year, two, three, all the way up to now seven years of being cancer free.
My mother was lucky. She was diagnosed early, through a mammogram and later a biopsy, and surgical intervention was enough for her. She didn't have to go through chemo or radiation like her sisters did that year. Yes, you read that correctly, two of her sisters were diagnosed and underwent mastectomies in less than a year's time. Her younger sister was diagnosed first and had her surgery the week of Thanksgiving in 1999. Then my mother was diagnosed on her birthday, January 10, 2000. Then around April or May of 2000, her second oldest sister was diagnosed and had surgery.
Am I afraid this will happen to me? Yes. Am I doing anything to prevent this from happening? Yes, but I don't think it's enough, and I need to do more, but if you're going to get it, you're going to get it! I pray I don't, but I am also prepared for the reality that it just might show up someday. I won't sit back and let it run my life, but I know I will have to fight and I am prepared to do that.
In the end, I realized that as bad as the last few weeks have been, they haven't been as bad as that. No more whining. No more fighting. In the grand scheme of things, it's only money and I am grateful that "Q" is still in my life and I would take him over all the money in the world any day, and yes, including this morning when we were both not communicating properly to one another. After I thought about a while, I realized that in the end, he was just being concerned and trying to help, and that I shouldn't have reacted so defensively towards him. At least we are both in reasonably good health and that we aren't facing an illness or impending death. Sorry, I will try to do better, honey. Love you.
As for Kevin Burger and her family, I wish you love and luck and blessings as you help each other through this journey. Be kind to one another, hug a lot, laugh even more, and believe in your heart you are healing. Cry if you need to, it's painful, I don't care who you talk to, you are losing a part of your body. But that part that leaves doesn't define you as person, or a mother, or a wife, or a woman. My prayers are with you all and for anyone else going through this in your life right now.
OK, no more whining, and I'm going to shut up now.