Om Namah Shivaya


Sunday, May 23, 2010

how it all started...

I was practicing my yoga one February morning when I noticed it. I was coming down through chattarunga into cobra pose, and a sharp pain went through my chest when it hit the floor. I felt around and found it...a lump in my right breast. I was confused..."when did that get there?" I knew that at my yearly in January I didn't feel anything and my gyno didn't either. Weird.

Finally by about mid-April I decided to go to my doctor and have it checked out. As my wonderful husband said "Only thing we can do right now is to go to the doctor and get it figured out." So off I went to the doctor full of trepidation but hopeful it would be nothing more than a benign cyst.

My doctor checked it and said..."You need a mammogram."

The mammogram doctor said..."You need to see a surgeon."

The surgeon said..."This is nothing. Related to your reduction. We'll get it out...everything will be fine."

Would that it could...

too bad what the surgeon wound up saying in the end was "It's cancer.."


Not what you're expecting to hear at 32 years of age. Just when you're hitting your stride in your life, your job, you marriage, and your self-image you get hit with a bomb like that...nevermind the fact that I was taking a nap and was awakened with *that* news. Sheesh. :)

As the surgeon was talking to me he kept saying the same things over and over again..."Everything's going to be fine." "You're going to be fine." "Do you have any questions?...Emily?..Do you have any questions?"..."hello?"

"I'm sorry....what? The earth just shifted...let me get this're saying I have breast cancer? What stage?! What size!? What's my prognosis?! What are you/we going to do?!?!?!?!"

At least that's what I wished I said. At least what people tell me I should have said...but instead all that came out was..."Wow."..."Wow".


Going through this, in a way, with my college boyfriend's family...well let me just say I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be the one staring chemo, radiation, sentinel node surgeries, possible mastectomy, tiredness, nausea and losing my hair (among many other *fabulous* things headed my way I'm sure...) in the face.

After I got the news, I called both my sisters and got voice mail. I then called my really good friend Dana and got voice mail and I wasn't going to call my folks at that moment in time because they were on the road to Chicago. Never was I more frustrated with technology and the fact that *everyone* has a cell phone but it always seems that when you *really really really REALLY* need them to answer it you get the voice mail! HA! It's so stupid.

My sister Julia called me back almost immediately and I actually said the words "It's cancer" out loud for the first time. Now, I will admit that I went into a very heavy and long "ugly cry" over the phone with my Julie, and I am forever eternally grateful that she endured that. I'm sure it must have been the most powerless, heart-wrenching, desperately sad things she has had to ever sit through. And for that I love her tremendously.

I then called my parents and while my dad laughed and joked about having a different phone and a different daughter up to each ear I tried to figure out an eloquent, smooth and strong way to tell my father that his youngest daughter, his baby, had breast cancer. If I remember correctly it came out as kind of a sobbing..."Daddy, it's cancer."

"Oh Dear" came the voice of my father, and the "What what, WHAT?!" of my mother in the back ground. I'm glad they didn't run off the road...I can't even imagine the shock and quite possibly the feeling that they were sucker punched when those words left my lips.


We are all still reeling from the shock a bit and have had many emotionally draining and information overloading days. I can only hope that we will begin to make some sense of this all and begin to really move forward. It's gonna be a long long year, and at times I'm sure it will be really sucky...but with the love and support of my wonderful hubby, my family, his family, all my friends, and of course my dogs Buck and Lilly, I'll make it through and be stronger for it.


  1. Dear Em,

    I am sure you will KICK CANCER'S ASS and the PPWs are here to help you do it. We will be sending you lots of positive energy and prayers. So glad you are doing the blog because we want to go on this journey with you. Here's to pink high heels and lipstick. Love always, Kathy

  2. Hi. Me again. It occurred to me that it would be wonderful to get some HOT PINK wrist bands with "Kickin Cancer's Ass" on one side and your name on the other. I asked your Mom about it and she mentioned that one of your friends is already ordering T-shirts for a fundraiser. Maybe she would want to incorporate that idea into the fundraiser? I am sure many of us in the theatre would want to participate. Have her contact me, if she wishes. Love, K

  3. Dearest Emily,

    I know you will kick this wimpy bully cancer's ass. The Christilles' clan is with you, sending you thoughts, prayers, light and energy. Thank you for the reaching out - we send big hugs back.

    All our love - Dennis, Karen, Jacob, Noah, 2 cats, six fish and all the bunnies in the yard worth!

  4. I remember the day you were born and you've been kickin' ass ever since. Watching you grow up into such a wonderful, talented woman has been a happy thing. So now we'll all face this challenge with you. Maybe some pink ass-kickin cowgirl boots are in order. I love you lady and plan to be with you ever step of the way.

  5. Hi Emily,

    Your Mom told us "the news" a few days ago and we want you to know we are with you all the way! How dare this menace attack you! We are sending lots of healing energy your way and lots of love to wrap you in hugs.

    Lots of love,
    Jan, Dr. Bill and Maggie(arf!arf!)Miller

  6. I love you Emmie!! You are one of the most brave and strong women I have ever met. I know you can kick this and I know you will do it with style! I do have to admit that it was more then heart wrenching to hear you sob on the phone. I ran around my three room apartment flapping one arm and holding the phone with the other listening to you cry and saying things like, it's gonna be ok baby, it's gonna be ok.... I was looking for my car keys and suitcase and pen and paper all at the same time, thinking ok, it's only a 14 hour drive to KC if I left right now I could be there in the wee hours of the morning. Then thinking, crap I hate being this far away, and double crap I can't leave with out talking to Kurtis and triple crap he has the car!! I think at that point I sat on the kitchen counter and listened to you cry and waited for you to calm dow and tried to think of a way to make you laugh. I think I was successful with a giggle or two. As I wright this I am sitting in the doctors office after getting my first mammogram and am waiting for the results. ...with pink lipstick on!! Love you! Julia

  7. Oh Julie I'm sorry. Thank you for listening to me cry. That was a scary day. Thank you to everyone else for your lovely comments and kindness. :)

  8. Dearest Emily,

    Just read all your updates and am so grateful for you giving me the sense that I am there with you as you endure all of these tests! I sense an incredible book coming from all this!! Hope you are having a good day today and I love you bunches!! Jan Miller

  9. Hi Emily,

    We'll be thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers as you have the procedure tomorrow. Keep the faith and keep smiling!!

    Love you, Jan, Bill and Maggie

  10. Hi Em,
    By all means, we would like two shirts, one XtraLarge and one medium!! I'll get the check in the mail tomorrow. Also want a bracelet so will include that, too. Remember--bald is chic!--and you will be just as beautiful without as with your blond locks!! Dr. Bill says he wishes he could put his healing hands on you and help you feel better! Love you, Jan, Dr.Bill and Maggie