They say a tiny mustard seed of faith is all it takes to move mountains. To me, cancer was that mountain. That day, I went to my primary care physician’s appointment alone. She could give me no information other than a fresh cancer diagnosis that “Doesn’t look good.” It seemed like the absolute worst idea to call my husband in D.C. and drop the cancer bomb on him. He was just about to be trapped on a plane for five hours. Our schedule that weekend had several interrelated, moving parts. That forced me to tell my youngest Debby first, my son Chase next, and my hubby would be the last in our immediate family to know that I had cancer. This diametrically opposes my priority of doing things. I would soon learn that cancer forces your hand and your life to places you never imagined.
My husband, Mark, and I met in April of 2004 through Community Bible Church’s 400+ member Adult Praise Choir. Mark was a divorced dad of 2, a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son; I was a single mom of a 10-year-old son. Whenever and wherever the CBC Choir sang we were there, earning the nickname of “choir junkies” given by our Worship Pastor.
My family has a group text: two brothers and sisters. Mom and Dad don’t text. My Mom gets upset when we don’t answer our phone. “Pa Que quieren esa chicharra si no lo van a contestar.” They’re old school. My brothers and sisters usually share texts like: “Mom and Dad are having a barbecue. What time are you getting there?” One day I had to send a different kind of family group text: “Hi guys, wanted to let you know that I have to get a second mammogram and sonogram on Wednesday. They found something on my left breast, so I’m going to get a biopsy done next Friday. Please say a little prayer that it is nothing. I don’t feel anything. It doesn’t hurt. That’s a good thing, I hope. I was trying to stay positive.”