My life is perfect. I am a successful physicist with a third degree black belt in Shotokan karate and a wonderful family including my husband Joel, my 5-year old boy Adrian, 22-month old girl Ripley, and our 1-year old 100 lb. German Sheppard pup Shadowfax, and let's not leave out our nice home five minutes drive from the beach in a great school district in beautiful San Diego.
On February 10, 2011, my birthday and the third anniversary of my brother's death from stomach cancer, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I was not surprised, shocked or angry. The physicist in me was relieved for a diagnostic, the mom in me was concerned at the outlook of my kids' lives without me being there for them and little Ripley not remembering her Mommy, and the third degree black belt was ready to fight.
Obviously, February 10 has been a day of conflict for me for the past few years and will continue to be so. However, I will still appreciate the "Happy Birthday" wishes and celebrate the positive things in my life.
Course of Action
The first thing we did was to make a plan for my kids' life in the event that Joel and I were not here. The biggest decision were guardians. I have my vision of the life I want for them in San Diego. Fortunately, we are very lucky to have very close friends with the same family values and ideals and are wonderful parents, and love our kids and reassured us that they will be there.The second thing was to schedule a consult with a surgical oncologist.The third thing was to figure out how to break this news to my parents after everything they have been through with my brother.The fourth thing was to celebrate my son's 5th Birthday (2/8) on February 13 without thinking about all of this or telling anyone. This was actually easier than one might have thought and I truly had a wonderful day.