(July 2015, Hope)
In June of 2015, I had to put my beautiful girl Halen down. She had been battling cancer for the past 8 months and it was time for me to make the agonizing decision to say good-bye to my girl. I never thought I would be able to get another dog, especially one the same breed as Halen, but I did on the 12th of July that next month. I remember feeling strongly in my heart that I was supposed to get another border collie as soon as possible and make sure it was a girl. I also felt that I was supposed to call her Hope not knowing what that would mean some time later.
Hope has been an amazing friend and companion since the moment we brought her home. She definitely helped ease our hearts of the pain of losing Halen after 14 years together, but it would come into play quite quickly why I needed to bring her into my life so quickly after Halen.
Hope and I were stuck together like glue so when she would treat me like a mother to her, I really didn’t think much about it. She would constantly sniff my chest and I always had some kind of sarcastic remark to make about how I might have been her mother now, but somethings were off limits. Still, Hope continued to make it a habit to sniff my breast area often.
That fall I was in college studying my junior year of Biology Pre-Med when we were assigned to give presentations on certain health topics. For one reason or another I ended up getting the end of the batch of selections for topics. What I ended up with was doing research and presenting on Invasive Breast Carcinoma. The presentation went well, even though I felt I could have done a better job at taking it more seriously, but I went on my way and finished my fall semester that December. It would be during that time I would begin to think about a mammogram I had done at the time I put Halen down.
I was known that something was not write in both my breasts, but the doctor at the time said he was pretty sure it wasn’t cancer and wanted to wait 6 months to recheck on the right side and wait a year on the left. I didn’t really care at the time because I was more humiliate at the fact that the doctor was supposed to be in there doing a biopsy, but he chose not to do it because my insurance was pending. (I really wish he would not have done that) but in hind site, there is a reason for everything and if it would not had happen that way, I would not have Hope and matter would have been worse I believe.
Back to December, I began to think more and more about getting that biopsy since my six months were up. By January I was back in and this time things had really grown out of “control”. I remember it was the last week of January 2016 and I was walking to statistics class when my cell phone rang with the news. It was so strange because it was like my body ripped in half and half of me knew it was cancer, but the other half was in shock. The interesting part about it was that the type of cancer I had was the same type I had just given a presentation on a couple of months prior.
By Feb. 12, 2016 I was heading into surgery with an amazing surgeon who looked like Dr. Oz and my plastic surgeon. I was about to feel what it truly felt like to feel liberated.
(Feb. 13, 2016 the morning after my double mastectomy)