This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime, an instructor at a play and music facility, is also a college 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 am excited to share with you that the first part of my chemo is coming to a close. Now I’m off to the next 12 rounds of the “easier stuff.” I did it but I didn’t do it alone. I had the help of my family and friends who have helped me pull my boot straps up and walk through the many puddles.
Ronnie has been melting my heart lately. The other day he woke up and for the first time he called for me. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I got up and opened his door to see him staring at me with the biggest smile with his arms out to give me a great big hug. How I just ate that moment up. His vocabulary is building everyday. He is saying new words, making new sounds, and repeats the famous “not nice mommy” when HE does something wrong! I take full advantage on the days that I feel good. I take him to the park and to see friends. But just spending time with him when I feel good doesn’t make up for the time that I miss when I am sick.
My husband, Ron, has been hard at work. He is working his main job, taking on side jobs, and taking care of Ronnie and me. My husband has been wonderful. Someone has to work, pay the bills, and spend time with Ronnie so his whole world isn’t turned upside down. Every night this past week he has taken Ronnie to the park while I get dinner ready. Ronnie says, “Daddy! Outside! Walk! Park!” and they get their shoes and coats on and out the door they go. Breast cancer has tested our relationship. I am sure it’s not done testing us, but it has also allowed us to find our true love.
As a parent, you would do anything to take your child’s pain away. When I think back to when I was diagnosed, I realize how important my parents have been throughout this process. I can’t imagine how my parents have felt since the day I was diagnosed. I am 27 years old and still, there is nothing better than a tight hug from my parents as I am traveling through this challenging and trying journey.
My dad was the first person I told. We used to have a strained relationship mainly because I am just like him. We are both strong-willed, otherwise known as hard-headed. My dad helps me get through everyday. He always used to tell me “when times are tough, just step over the line and breathe.” Now he tells me he loves me. I get a tight hug and hear that everything will be okay. My dad is my hero.
My mom is my best friend. My mom and I are extremely close and share pretty much everything. The day I had to tell her the news, I knew she would be devastated. Because of my mom, I am able to laugh at my doctor’s appointments and chemo treatments. It helps me ease my nervousness. I am honest with her and I tell her how I really feel. My mom is rock.
My parents have always been there. They have always been attentive, encouraging, fun, loving, trustworthy, and just overall, amazing. I can always say thank you for everything they have done for me but sometimes I don’t think they truly understand just how thankful I am. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to conquer recovery from my surgeries, my first part of chemotherapy, and the many doctor appointments. They’ve rearranged their schedules to make sure their little girl survives. They have taken care of me by taking Ronnie on the nights of chemo and making sure he makes it to school in the morning. They pick me up on the days that I fall down. They hold me tight when there is nothing to say — they are the light on my cloudy days.
I know I am not alone in this journey and that I have the most amazing support system to help me through this. Friends are just as important as family and they are always there when you need them. A strong support system is what you need to get through this disease. You can’t do it alone. You need a shoulder to cry on — not just your pillow. You need a friend to tell you a joke even if you just laugh for a minute. I have formed many relationships with other women affected by breast cancer and women who are living beyond their diagnosis. One day I want to be able to hold a woman’s hand who is facing this disease and let her know that she is not alone.
How has your support system helped you get through your breast cancer experience? Share your thoughts 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.