My mother has cancer.
That is a surreal sentence to write and admit to. My mother, the woman who fought every barrier in her life and every obstacle, has cancer.
The news wasn’t really something big or even devastating until recently. See, she was diagnosed with cancer last month after something showed up in a mammogram. After a biopsy, the doctor called. It was cancer.
In the breast. We needed to see a specialist.
So we did. And a surgeon. We caught it early, they said before explaining that surgery would be needed and then a treatment plan after that, possible radiation.
And even then it was like hearing someone say she had the flu or a weird freckle that needed to cut out. My family and I have been going through the paces as we do with other things
“Oh, we need to change the oil in the car? We’ll do it tomorrow.”
“Oh, we need to go grocery shopping soon? We’ll go next week.”
So when the doctor said cancer. We all thought “Well, let’s just do what we need to do”.
But slowly, much like the cancer, the news has grown on my family members and infected us. We are scared. Terrified.
For me, the moment I knew I was scared and the cancer stopped being an item on my to do list, happened in front of a wall of pink stuff at the Dollar Tree. Mom and I love the Dollar Tree. And at the end of an aisle, across the way from Halloween decorations, was all the breast cancer pink stuff — towels, water bottles, little teddy bears.
I began to resent the color; it looked like Pepto Bismol that had gone bad. And this month, it’s everywhere. Pink, the color. Pink, the awareness. Pink, the reminder that something foreign was growing inside my mom that could threaten her life.
As of late, I’m using my yoga practice to not only to keep my anxiety in check but it’s how I’m praying. Yoga is how I’m asking questions. Yoga is how I’m checking in with myself because battles like these come with scars that need to be tended. Yoga is keeping me focused against the pink, despite the pink, pass the pink.
This month, appropriately enough, we are cutting the cancer out of my mother. But a cure is more than just a surgeon’s knife. There are weeks coming I know I am not ready for. I know she’s not ready for. But it’s not like Fernandez women to run away from a fight and damn it if we don’t have the mother of all fights. Pun not intended.
I figure if yoga is helping me now, it will help me then. But only time will tell if I’m right or wrong.