A Survivors Sisterhood

a survivors sisterhood

by Kim Thompson

Hi, my name is Kim Thompson, Im 58 years young and am the proud mother of 2 sons who are 31 and 30. In October 2014 my whole life changed when I foundthe lump“, somehow I just knew it was cancer. Not sure how I knew but I just felt it, you know? Within the span of the month of October that year I found a lump, my mother passed away, I went through multiple tests and finally the diagnosis on October 31st, 2014. To say my life changed is quite the understatement as those of you who have heard those dreadful wordsYou Have Cancerunderstand. You see Ive been aware of breast cancer my whole life as my maternal grandmother passed from breast cancer when my Mom was a little girl then her middle sister passed from breast cancer when I was around 13 or so. Due to these factors I was always vigilant in my testing as I was sure there was a bigger chance of me being 1 of the 1 in 8 women who are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer due to my lineage. Turns out I was right, however I was one of the fortunate ones who caught it early, thank God, however it would be a few months before I knew my prognosis.

I went on to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in January 2015 and even though I had done a ton of research and asked a ton of questions I was not prepared for what I was about to endure. There is honestly no good way to prepare someone for the massive amount of not only physical pain but the emotional, the psychological, the grief, the whole of all the things that no one tells you about because it is so huge. I was so fortunate to have a great support group of family and friends to help me through this however what I didnt realize I also needed was others who have walked this walk, women who know what it really feels like who can help you just by being in their presence let alone the friendships that come from it but the actual sisterhood of survivors is so much more than that. They are the ones who understand all of your irrational fears, who understand when you have to bail on plans with your family or friends due to side effects of breast cancer, who know what worked for them, and they pass on that vast, greatly needed information to others not to mention the multiple other ways they provide much-needed support.

I have always been a very positive person who sees the glass as half full and I try to find the good through all the bad so when I was diagnosed I really didnt know any other way to tackle this demon except head on with the attitude that I was going to win, not cancer. I remember having a conversation with someone who couldnt understand why I was so positive, so hopeful when so many bad, hard things were happening in my life. It amazed him that even though I was newly diagnosed, I had just laid my mother to rest, I was putting my job on hiatus, I was packing and moving everything to my boyfriends house where I was moving, I still had hope in my heart and a positive attitude. I told him I simply didnt know any other way to be. It is just who I am. Its just me, just Kim. I found that fascinating as I thought everyone thought this way. Boy how naive am I, huh? Was I overconfident, maybe but I just new that God had me, and I was going to be okay, no matter the outcome. So with this mindset I thought I didnt need anymore support or counseling or anything as I had this right? I was thinking positive and feeling like I had it all under control right until this year. I have learned that there can never and I repeat never be too much support when it comes to breast cancer or any cancer. We need all we can get, and I am so lucky to have connected with a group of amazing women who are connected to so many amazing people who are doing their part to make this world a better place. Deb Hart and her organization Pink Sisters has truly changed my life in ways I didnt realize needed changing, and I am truly blessed to be a part of something so important to myself and so many others. Thank you for letting me share just a glimpse of my story. Keep hoping, keep living your best life and dont be afraid to get your mammograms, they really can save your life. Stay strong Pink Sisters!

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