I’m scared and I’m standing in the puddle – but I’m not alone

This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime, an instructor at a play and music facility, is alsocollege student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science Every other Friday, starting in January throughout the entire year of 2011, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.

Allow Jaime to introduce herself:

I think every girl’s dream growing up is to have the most beautiful wedding, marry the perfect man, live in a big house with a white picket fence, watch your children run around the yard and hang laundry on the line outback. It never seems to occur that at any moment, it might rain.

I had the perfect wedding. I have the almost perfect husband (every man has flaws). I rent a small house (no picket fence, though). And last but not least, I have a beautiful son who just turned 20 months old. Despite all of this, I am standing in a puddle.

lbbc, living beyond breast cancer, 20th anniversary

Jaime and her son, Ronnie, are on a discovery hunt!

It was the beginning of September when I did my routine breast exam. I noticed something that was not there before — it was the size of a marble. Unsure of what it was, I paid close attention to it for a while. As time went by it got a little bigger and then it was noticeable. Off to get a mammogram and ultrasound…

Would it hurt? The most frightening part was waiting for the radiologist after getting the mammogram and the ultrasound done. Will it pop my implants? Nope, not enough pressure. What will they see? They saw something. It was a lump — 3cm that appeared to be a fibro adenoma. I saw the general surgeon about two days later to schedule a lumpectomy.  We would have to wait for the pathology results to determine if it really was a fibro adenoma.

On October 29, 2010, a little after 2 p.m., I was leaving work to venture off to see my son’s first Halloween parade! The phone rang…

“Jaime, I am so sorry it is what we feared. It is breast cancer.” I dropped to my knees, screaming. My world turned upside down because of a two-minute conversation. I went out to the car to face my husband. I put on a fake smile for my son’s first parade. I tried to hold it together before my mom could figure out something was wrong. But as soon as I saw her, I lost it. We pulled out our umbrellas, put on our rain boots, took a deep breath and jumped in the puddle.

I was so numb and lost that I couldn’t decide what to do next. My mom made countless phone calls to figure out where we needed to go with the news that we had just found out about. Finally, my great oncologist, surgeon and my wonderful nurse coordinator made me feel some rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds.

I have Invasive Ductile Carcinoma, Estrogen +, Progesterone + and Her 2 -. On December 6, 2010 I underwent surgery: a left side full lymph node dissection with a mastectomy and a simple mastectomy on the right side. The pain was not too bad since I had implants. Although everyday is a little easier, I still face a challenge knowing that I still can’t pick my little one up in my arms to give him a hug.

In a couple of days, I am scheduled to meet with my oncologist to discuss my chemo flavor. I am going to shave my head day-one of chemo because I can’t bear the thought of watching my hair fall out. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am scared. Yes, I am only 27.

More importantly, yes, I can beat this. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a student and someone’s neighbor. This is my year-long journey through the storm. My hope is that my story will inspire other young women who are standing in the puddle — just like I am.

Welcome to my story.

During the year of 2011 and beyond, how do you plan to enforce your strength while standing in the puddle? Tell Jaime why it’s so important to acknowledge your diagnosis and still leave room for strength and prevail! Comment here or on our facebook page. 

7 thoughts on “I’m scared and I’m standing in the puddle – but I’m not alone

  1. Jaime

    You have moved me to tears; how beautifully you are able to express your feelings. I am here to tell you that you are not alone; me and so many more like me have our rain boots and umbrella and are ready to sing in the rain right along with you. Some days maybe bring thunderstorms, and others hurricane winds but there will also be ones with rainbows. Stay focused on recovery and as yoour counterpart Jackie so eloquently stated in her blog yesterday – be fierce – be fit – be kind – be happy and be you! Your blog is so inspiring and genuine; I can’t wait to venture with you on this journey. We are all sisters in pink, we are warriors and conquerors.

    Be well and bless you
    Lisa Marsella

    • Thank you so much Lisa for your support and your genuine kindness and open heartedness. This diagnoises has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. I know there will be wind and rain but most importantly after this is all said and done there maybe a pot of gold at the bottom of my rainbow. I always say whoever is up above only gives you things you can handle. What I can say is all of our sisters in pink are angels and are warriors and have been able to handle the card that they were delt. Thank you for holding my hand and walking this journey with me.

  2. Dear Jaime,

    Rest assure that you are not alone in this journey. LBBC will be there for you every step of the way as they are for me. I am so grateful LBBC is a part of my journey.
    You have the love, support and prayers of all.

    Sue

  3. Dear Jaime,

    I am Jackie’s Mother-In-Law. Your story, so much like Jackie’s, is so heart-breaking, but uplifting. After all the initial crying and the hugs that you just didn’t want to let go of, believe it or not, it does get ‘easier’. But in the depth of my heart, I know I too must continue to be strong for both Jackie and my son Ron. We still have the surgery part of the process to face in 2011. Jackie’s chemo phase is almost coming to a close. I know you are concerned with the hair loss, but rest assured – Jackie was most fashionable with her scarfs. She is still as beautiful without her hair as she was with it. The most important thing is that you remain strong. Your husband, your son, your family, and your friends are in constant prayer mode. I, too, will join that list. God Bless you …

    Barb

    • Dear Barb,

      Thank you so much for reading my entry and posting a reply. Everyone is telling me it will get easier but I think I am still in the phase of denial and anger. I so often just cry sitting on the couch, watching tv, sitting on the internet like now and just think to myself WHY? I know no one has the answers and that is a tough thing to swallow. I know I am strong and know I will get through this it is just going to be a mud slide there. Thank you so much for your support and Jackie has been an amazing uplifting friend who is so helpful and supportive. I can’t begin to thank her as well as you for bringing me into your lives. Thanks again. Jaime

  4. Dear Jaime,
    You started strong by being able to cry, yell, scream as soon as you did. That’s a great sign that you can release the bad in preparation for embracing the good. There is so much good coming your way. It may not seem like it and the good does come with challenges, but you will survive along with the rest of us. It was a year ago in January that I was facing chemo and hair loss. It took two months post chemo to have hair. Now, I love my “new” hair! It’s like it was meant to be mine all along. Trust your instincts and be good to yourself. Sue

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