How Neglect Led To My Nurturing

It’s September of 2013 and after struggling with homelessness and battling instability, I was determined to keep my new job at all cost, ignoring that nagging, pinching and poking sensation on my right breast and my existing disabilities was fine with me. Fueled by the urge to make up for time lost, I began to push myself harder both emotionally and physically I wanted and needed to provide for my teenage daughter. Maintaining my position was the key to happiness and being a responsible mother. Right? Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? After being on the job for a couple of months I was let go, here I am unemployed again, I was thinking to myself, “What am I going to do now?” While worrying about how I will pay bills and keep a roof over our heads I could no longer ignore the increasing numbness and difficulties in raising my right arm. A trip to the emergency room In January 2014 leads to a new primary physician, it’s the second physician within 3yrs that orders a mammogram that I postpone for the 2nd time. While feeling defeated and worthless, after pushing resumes with no responses and unsuccessful interviews, it’s February and I finally go in for my overdue mammogram. I’m immediately called back the same day of the mammogram and asked to return ASAP. It takes 2 days before I return for another diagnostic screening. March 4th of 2014 I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. Faced with breast cancer and so much uncertainty about our future, I eventually came to the realization that allowing yourself the time to nurture your mind and body even in troubled times is truly the path to self-discovery and happiness.
Thelsuice Gonzalez
Tampa, FL