This entry was written by Nancy Amorosi. Many of you may remember Jaime Rossano, one of the year-long series bloggers who, in a raw and honest tone, shared her breast cancer journey from diagnosis to post treatment in 2011. In this entry, her mother gives us her perspective of the journey. Over the year, she tried desperately to hide her true feelings of fear that consumed her heart facing the reality that she could never handle the idea of losing her baby girl.
Every Tuesday for the rest of this month, join Nancy as she recaps her daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis in a 3-week series.
Read Jaime’s blogs by searching “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.
It was October 2010 and life was “routine”. Our 27-year-old daughter Jaime was married and had given birth to our beautiful grandson Ronnie. Just months after completing breast feeding her son she came to me and said she felt a lump in her left breast. She immediately went for a mammogram and although the radiologist said to have an excisional biopsy right away, I was not overly alarmed. She was only 27 years old. However, day after day as we waited for the results a sick feeling began to emerge. The phone call came and the words “Jaime your results are positive, you have breast cancer” would change our lives forever. I held her tight, holding her up as her knees buckled beneath her and the tears streamed down her face. I somehow found the strength to hold it together and whisper “everything will be okay; I will be beside you every step of the way.” How does a mother respond when her daughter screams in fear “I don’t want to die mom, I don’t want to die.” And so our journey began.
I remember that evening after spending time with my husband and him holding me tight, I escaped to the bathroom to be alone and the floodgates opened, my body trembled and I slid to the floor, sobbing in disbelief. How could this be? This should not happen to our little girl, this should happen to ME! She is too young, a new wife, a new mommy, still going to school and working. How could this be? I remember feeling so guilty almost as if it was my fault.
I kept myself busy with phone calls, organizing research, doctors, family, friends, and gathering resources. She needed the best and it was my job to find it and we did. The following weeks were consumed with appointments, tests, more appointments. At this point the reality of what was really happening did not set in just yet. Jaime and I spent hours talking and crying and trying to make sense of it all. Despite feeling helpless to stop this monster called “cancer” I pretended to be strong and spoke only of positive and reassuring words. At the end of each day my bathtub became my sanctuary. A place to release my tears, my fears and collapse in anger and frustration and I would pray like never before. “Please God, don’t let my daughter die”.
The most agonizing memory for me was at 4pm on surgery day when Jaime was still in surgery and I had to leave to pick up my 18-month-old grandson from daycare. I stood before the elevator shaking and crying knowing I would not be beside her when she awoke from this nightmare as I had promised. I knew she would understand and would want me to get her baby boy home safe. I drove my car all the way with tears streaming down my face knowing in my heart she would be okay. My heart never felt so torn! Surgery went well and two days later she went home. I was amazed at her ability to tolerate the pain and remain upbeat despite what this monster “cancer” just stole from her. My days were long and nights were short, caring for her baby at night, getting him to daycare in the am, and then caring for Jaime during the day while cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, lying together watching movies and talking about the future and staying positive all the while. When evening fell it was back to my sanctuary and a bubble filled tub to collapse and allow my emotions to flow which would allow me to start renewed each day with a sense of purpose and hope.