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.
This year Jaime is getting adjusted to not having a blog deadline, having completed her year-long series in December of 2011. But the start of the 2011 New Year introduced us to chemotherapy and the words of one kind nurse that did not come true – “Oh Jaime, you are so young this will be a piece of cake”. So the infusions began. Within hours the color would drain from her face, the nausea would creep in and by evening and the days to follow she was sick, suffering headaches, bone pain, body aches, nausea and worst of all she lost her smile. My heart was in so much pain. I felt so incredibly helpless and could not bear to see our little girl suffer so much. I gave her a small red heart locket with little Ronnie’s picture inside. And when the light began to fade from her eyes I would whisper to her to look into her baby boy’s eyes and draw strength and courage to fight. I admit there were days for me too when darkness overshadowed the light and I would hold my grandson and almost magically felt a new sense of hope. Sure enough with each passing day the symptoms would fade and her smile would re-emerge giving us all a renewed sense of hope. Only to repeat this cycle again and again and again and again and again and again.
Within weeks of starting chemo the hair clippers buzzed and her locks fell to the floor. She could not bear to watch her hair fall out strand by strand so she took control and beat the monster called “cancer” to the punch. She wore a beautiful colorful bandana each and every day. We spent chemo days side by side and the five or six “sick” days to follow were filled with emotion, sadness, fear, laughter, anger, frustration, and emotional exhaustion. Our lives had developed a new “routine”. Seems silly but we actually got good at the routine of chemo week. But, they were also the most difficult, emotional and exhausting for both of us in very different ways. Somehow we found humor among the chaos. Days led to weeks and weeks led to months and before long chemo was done. The amazing strength, courage and determination in our daughter’s eyes week after week continued to give me hope.
Radiation therapy followed week after week and despite feeling tired and weak her resilience prevailed. She maintained her motto; be strong, be fierce, be ME! As time passed positive changes emerged. The importance of love, life and family took hold. No longer sweating the small stuff, living each day and not allowing the “what if” of tomorrow to ruin today became a new way of life.