Party at a Time Like This?

 Party at a Time Like This? Today was our pre-​​wedding party, our bachelor and bachelorette party. Most of the guests who will be at the wedding on Sunday came early so they could be at the party. We chose to hold it at a bar, and not separate parties like most people have. Now, more than ever, we needed to be together, especially since this would be our first “public appearance” since the diagnosis, and we needed each other’s strength.

As Michel and I got ready for the party, and we were choosing our outfits (jeans and a cheesy Bride and Groom t-​​shirt, of course), it dawned on me that wearing a bra tonight was not going to happen. Lately, it hurts to wear a bra for longer than an hour or so. I carefully chose an undershirt to wear under the t-​​shirt and hoped I would be able to keep smiling no matter what.

See, I’m not usually one to keep a secret about myself very well. Knowing we were going to be partying tonight with people who would soon be shocked by our news, it was incredibly difficult to keep my mouth shut. I was finding it very challenging to just be quiet and forget about “the breast cancer” for tonight.

I wanted to tell everyone what we were going through. I wanted the sympathetic hugs. I wanted to let them know that every time someone gave me a vigorous bear hug, it hurt like hell. I felt emotions I’m not used to feeling, and I didn’t like it one bit.

How can we smile at a time like this? I felt like a complete fraud, laughing, smiling, nodding in all the right places. Knowing that within a few weeks, I will be smack in the middle of cancer treatments, that all my friends and family will soon learn that throughout the wedding, we were smiling and laughing, but we were crying inside.

How can I possibly keep this smile plastered on my face when I want to scream at the unfairness of it all?

How? By remembering that smiling, laughing, joking, and learning how to play no matter what, is exactly how we will get through this in the coming months.

By the end of the night, I wasn’t faking it anymore. I felt alive, beautiful, sexy, and vibrant. I felt like all I had to do to get healthy was ask the Universe for my health. I felt like I wasn’t “sick” anymore, that in fact, I was radiantly, gloriously healthy.

I felt truly alive…

5 Comments so far »

  1. Ralph Zuranski said on:

    September 9, 2006 at 8:41 am

    Dear Sylvie,
    You are my hero. It is the rare person who takes personal tragedy and transforms it into a glorious example of a victorious thought process that can overcome any obstacle. In the near future, I hope to do your heroes interview because your answers to the heroes questions will be an inspiration to everyone.

    You, Michel and your family are in my dailly prayers.
    May God Bless you,
    Ralph

  2. Celeste said on:

    September 19, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    You are my mother.,and the one female in the world whom I have never lost my admiration for.

    Although I live with you…spend time chatting it up…It is still unbelievable how only now after reading this i realize just how strong you are. I am also amazed that you were able to keep such a large secret in. I know that it must have been hard to keep it from the ones you love, but it is so completely understandable. You are so lucky that you had/​have Michel to help you through this.

    I am really glad that I can read this..I am only now able to be completely honest with myself and admit that yes, my mother does have cancer..now dear god woman!!!help her out!!

  3. Denise said on:

    November 5, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I have not had a chance to read your whole story but I will. I just wanted to say that it is great that you can actually write about your experiences, etc. My dad passed away from breast cancer in 2003 and I am still having a hard time with it and everthing he went through. Good luck to you and your family. Stay well and safe. Keep your story going!

  4. shercyramos said on:

    August 24, 2009 at 10:03 am

    It’s paradoxical how feeling alive can be present even in the face of impending death. You still manage to stay on your feet and find meaning in your condition. I am moved by your words that your family’s laughter and your friends’ jokes are the things that keeps your spirits high. I agree with this!

  5. Jenny said on:

    January 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Hi there all, I am new to this but here goes.
    I had grade 3 breast Cancer, had the test the day before Christmas and went away on holiday thinking I was a dead girl walking and this would be my last holiday. That was 2 years ago now. I read your stories thank you for sharing, it gives hope to all, thought I had it bad but you made me see we are not alone. I had grade 3 breast cancer went through the Chemo badly collapsing twice then the op and rad. The treatments nearly killed me and I am still in pain all the time two years down the line. But in all the thick of it I visited a web site called http://​www​.healthwise​-global​.com read their stories and bought a CD which helped me every day that I listened to it. From time to time I still take it out when I feel low and it helps. I done the walk for life and will be doing it again this year. My way of saying thank you for still being here
    Thanks you for sharing your story visit the web site see my story there
    Jenny

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