Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breast cancer has given Me a second chance at life

Pam Stephan, Lauren LambertPAM and Lauren, cousins
Photo David Stephan

Today is new year's day-my father I children on this date 1-1-11 or in his words "full of ones!"Still, if I hadn't had breast cancer, I might not be joking around with him at all. Oh, I would be alive and well, but I would not have sliced back through 13 years of estrangement and reconnected with him, if I had never been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. because it can be difficult for you to put everything together, let me tell you a bit more of the story.

My mother had always been difficult to live with, and when people asked me to her, I just said that she seemed to be always unhappy, angry, emotionally unhealthy. a Christmas when I was 38, I was trying to talk to her on the phone and started complaining to me. I stopped her and said that we had to go to that topic was his reply. anger right and the Declaration that would stop talking to each other since then! MOM controlled all communication around the House, so she cut me off from father and my sister ... Although my life became gradually more peaceful, I lost my father-a pleasant colleagues-and my younger sister-the only person on Earth who knew what MOM was really like.

I and my husband has never had children-I was afraid that would hurt them as mum had hurt me be childless put us into a strange social place everywhere we went we don't that many friends, holidays were spent with my husband's family that does not tie with many women also at work, or Church, had a few friends.

When I was 38, I was diagnosed and treated for cancer: breast, there were family members on my side to call support-expulsion cannot lasted 10 years from then cousins, sister, mother to come and Help out my husband and his family has done the best they could for me, that turned out to be enough.

My mother died in 2005, a fact we discovered one year after the fact, while his obituary to read our online newspaper on Christmas was pretty short so that I feared that my father was also lost. since 13 years have passed and we were unsure how to contact my father-and if he would even talk to me I might have missed, but I had endured cancer, chemo, surgeries, recovery and all breaks that go with it having survived that fire, I felt stronger than ever and more willing to take risks, this was my second opportunity to connect with my family! After trying each phone number that we had (mum loved have unlisted telephone numbers) we reconnected with dad, then 80 years old were pleased, he shed tears, we set a date to visit soon.

In 2010, the fourth year that Dad has lived with us, I was able to reconnect with 6 maternal cousins (some of which I had never met!) and 3 cousins. father, my sister and I met soon after dad I welcomed in his house, and she had taught me a lot about managing people in conversation with many others, I learned that my mother may have had schizophrenia. There were little you could do-or would-on his behavior. But I finally got a name for his disorder, an explanation that I can live.

Breast cancer is no picnic--even if treatment and survival are improving, I am grateful for the breast way influenced my life has put some steel in my spine, and caused me to reorder my priorities in life have become a caregiver to my father, my sister and a friend my cousins. In short, I went from living in removal for promoting reconciliation. that is the gift that breast cancer-gave me courage to cut through old wounds, to face the harsh truth and move on ... that's my second chance at life.

I hope that 2011 will be a great year for you and all your family and friends-best wishes and happy new year!

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