On the road with women who understand — ME

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, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.

To read Jaime’s previous entries, enter “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.

I have always been the type of person who has had a different view on things. Lately, I wonder if I’m the only one in the world to have some of these thoughts. Being diagnosed with breast cancer is unsettling to say the least. But when I think of it, I find myself overwhelmed by having so many doctors’ appointments and examinations that I’ve gotten used to stripping at every appointment allowing the doctors to touch, feel and look.

I am losing that feeling of self-consciousness and just letting it all hang out. “Sure! Here they are! Have a feel!”

I hate my scars. I think my girls look awful. They don’t look like boobs at all. Breast cancer takes your outer identity. Breast cancer took my hair, my boobs, my life and turned it up-side-down. Breast cancer is like a nat that just won’t go away! No matter what I do, what treatment I take, breast cancer will always be on my patient chart. How am I supposed to forget about it once it’s gone?  

Through this experience though, there are always those few special people you connect with on a personal level. I can’t begin to tell you how much my tech has made so many uncomfortable visits comfortable. She has gone above her duty as a tech and has really connected with me. Maybe it’s because she is around my age that we just bonded the way we did. Or maybe she sees beyond the breast cancer, and sees me.

I wrote her a little note just to tell her how special she was to me during this very difficult time. I needed her to know how much of a difference she has made. The note made her cry. Many of us do our jobs to our fullest because we love what we do. We don’t want acknowledgment, but when it happens, it does feel great.

Two very special chemo nurses have also opened their arms to me. They do a great job by keeping me informed about the process because they talk to me, tell me exactly what they are doing, and how they are doing it every time I am there. If I have any questions, I can rely on them having answers. They have made me laugh, and sometimes cry. I realize their purpose is to help me survive.

I wore my scarf that was donated to me by H.U.G.S – Hands United to Give Strength. The founders of H.U.G.S encourage someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer to donate a piece of fabric – a T-shirt, a blanket, or a head wrap for example. The fabric should be from an item that the woman found comfort in during her breast cancer treatment. The fabric, as well as the name of the person who donated the fabric, is embroidered on the scarf. Her name is Cindy. Just the thought of knowing another person went through a journey like me makes me feel like she is with me. I wear my scarf with pride. My plans are to donate something special of mine post chemo to another woman to let her know just how special she is and that she can get through this.

H.U.G.S - Hands United to Give Strength, lbbc, shop to support, living beyond breast cancer

I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the employees are at La Belle Fit where I have enrolled in two Zumba classes a week. All of the employees have welcomed me to their studio with open arms. Zumba is my outlet to break away from life through laughter and fun! It’s amazing what can happen when you let your guard down and welcome others in. I used to be very quiet and reserved and would never go to a dance class because I didn’t want to be embarrassed. I have no rhythm! But now, despite breast cancer, I am comfortable with who I am.

I have made a special connection to three fabulous and amazing women throughout my journey so far. Jackie also blogs for LBBC every other Friday like I do. We’ve both committed to sharing our stories in hopes to inspire someone else. Nicole is another young woman who now can call herself a survivor! Last but not least, Deb. I helped her at the very beginning of her diagnosis. Because of my involvement in helping her through her journey, I am able to keep going. She has had a difficult time with chemo but she still continues to move forward. Her positive attitude shows her strength.

All three of these women have helped me to pull up my boot straps and jump in the puddle with both feet. They allow me to be scared, they allow me to tell them how I really feel, and more importantly, they understand me.

To all of these women, I THANK YOU!

Support is a major part of recovery. Who has helped you in your journey? How have you told these people how instrumental they were in helping you through a difficult time in your life? Comment here or on our Facebook page.

Be sure to read Jaime’s previous entries, by entering “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.

9 thoughts on “On the road with women who understand — ME

  1. Hi Jamie! So glad you are able to find some comfort in all of this and that you can sort of “be free” in your Zumba class. I’m thinking about you 🙂

  2. Hi Sweet Pea, although this journey is a difficult one I am so proud that you have allowed yourself to open up and allow others in. These women are a true gift to you and you sweet pea are a gift to them too! They say that we cross paths with people in our lives for a reason. I am thankful for each and everyone of them for providing you with exactly what you need, when you need it….stay strong and dance like you have never danced before!

  3. Jaime, I am the Cindy whose patch you wear on your scarf. That patch was from a scarf I wore myself during treatment. Kathy from H.U.G.S. (who was also my coordinator and to whom I will alway be grateful for her calming ways) shared your page with me. You are not alone and it’s likely I had and still have similar thoughts . I am going on 7 years out (knock on wood) and I realize there is still not a day that goes by that I don’t remember. But I’ve decided that’s not a bad thing. It keeps me in check and keeps me appreciative. My patch and my thoughts will be with you always. Hugs to you.

  4. Jaime,
    I related to so much of what you wrote! I loved my radiation techs for their caring, kind attitude. I wrote them a thank you note and bought them lunch when my treatments were complete. 🙂 It still didn’t feel like enough for all the compassionate care I received.

    My heart went out to you as I read, “No matter what I do, what treatment I take, breast cancer will always be on my patient chart.” The first time I had a “regular” doctors appointment after diagnosis a new doctor took my health history. When he asked if I had any history of diseases, I actually said, “no” because that was always my answer before. I felt so silly when I had to say, “Oh wait! Yes, I have breast cancer.” He looked at me funny but wrote it down. Later, I laughed thinking about it but in the moment, having to include breast cancer as part of my history was another “first.”

    So glad to see that you have support around you. Keep reaching out. Keep connecting. I wish you all the best and send hugs!

    • Teri,
      Thank you for sharing part of your story with me. I thought this was the least I could do at this point. I think it is great that you can laugh about telling the doctor NO at first. I feel like right now it is the only thing that comes out of my mouth. Best of luck to you!!!! Big hug!!!!

  5. Pingback: The Importance Of Why | Hugs For Strength

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