Andrea Lucas Around May of 2016 I felt a large lump in my breast and scheduled my first mammogram for August 26th of 2016. I was diagnosed with the lump being a malignant tumor on September 6th. I was at work and was awaiting the call from my biopsy. When they called to tell me the results I guess I don’t really remember feeling anything at all. I was numb, scared and overwhelmed. After that day, it really did turn into a whirlwind of doctor appointments, waiting, making tough decisions and really just total chaos. After many tests, scans, pokes and prods, I landed with a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer with a metastasis to my spine. I am a young, single mommy of two young boys, 8 and 10, and had always been extremely healthy, younger than my age, active, and always seeking adventure. What a blow! I sat down and told my children, my family and my friends. It was an emotional time and I found it hard to be the one to be causing so much pain and sadness. It was a lot to feel, wanting to be strong and yet hurting those around me with my sickness, making them sad that there was nothing they could do to change it for me. There was nothing I could do either, except take control of what I could, learn as much as I could about my cancer, my treatment, my side effects, my doctors, and brace myself mentally for the ride of my life. At the time, I was in a long-term relationship and he walked out on me and my situation shortly after I started my treatment, unwilling to be a support to me. Another blow! Now, I was fighting for my life, and mending a very broken heart. It was an extremely lonely place to be in and so much change it was almost too hard to bear. But, I have always been a positive person, so I took this as my most difficult challenge and charged on, making the best of it that I possibly could. I really was only able to make it because of the wonderful people that I have in my life. My beautiful boys, who give me courage, hope and undying love, kept me going each and every day. My mom was instantly by my side, travelling back and forth from Ohio, and staying here anytime and for as long as I needed her. She helped me tremendously with my very active boys, getting me through holidays, birthdays and keeping up with their very active spirits. My sister started a meal train for me and I did not go a day without a meal for five months straight, mostly due to my boy’s school (thank you, Linton Elementary). Their staff was amazing and so supportive, and I will forever be thankful for the lesson in kindness that could never be taught to my boys except in this kind of real life way. My friends rallied around me, giving me support and love and keeping my spirits up when I was down. My work supported me, giving me time when I needed it and even promoting me during my treatment. I only missed a few days of work other than my treatment days, and my little family and I charged on like nothing was wrong…living our lives, keeping a schedule, and getting up each day and making it through. Because all I really wanted to do was be normal. You think, before you are faced with something like this, that if you were sick and knew you might die, you would quit your job, go travel the world, do crazy things… but, really all I wanted was to be me, just my normal old self. So, that is what we strove for. And we did it! My kids made bracelets and handed them out to so many people that still wear them for me. It is amazing and inspiring and has reminded me what life is about. It is about community and love, supporting others, and living as much as you possibly can each and every day. It is about friendships and being a good person to everyone around you as much as you possibly can. I even bought a new house and moved in the middle of my treatments, wanting a fresh start and making decisions as everyone does. Like there is a future ahead of me. Making choices as I would if none of this was happening to me. We don’t make decisions in life based on dying tomorrow, no one does, and neither will I. So, as hard as this journey has been and as long as it will drag on, my fighting spirit will prevail and will last longer than any challenge that lies ahead of me. I am thankful still in my life for so many things despite the changes to my body, despite the losses, despite the odds they say I have. I have learned not to worry until I need to, and so I will continue on, and will do it in the best way I can each day and will keep my faith that I will survive. Andrea dances the night away in her hot pink cocktail dress with flirty ruffle and button accents, by Kensie, $92. Sparkly evening earrings, $18, and stretch crystal bracelets, $20, add a dressy touch. Courtesy of Apricot Lane Boutique, Fort Collins.
Published on Aug 31, 2017