Sara - 27 years old in July 2010
Diagnosis July 2010: Aggressive Breast Cancer July 2010 - April 2011.
Diagnosis April 2011: Cancer Free!
My Sara - my clone - my friend - my child. "Mom - I have a lump in my breast - it's nothing, I am breastfeeding". "Check it!"........... Mammography - devastating news.......can't believe its happening - but it is. I look at my child and see terrible anguish and pain hearing the words over and over again - duct carcinoma of the breast - breast cancer!!!! My Sara - my Child!!!!!
Phone calls, friends arranging immediate appointments with the best doctors - driving, shocked, the two of us, and the words are repeated and we are forced to believe. Biopsy? Pathology? Surgery? Chemotherapy? - foreign, unfamiliar, terrible, words.......I feel like I am drowning in a black sea. I can hardly breathe - overwhelming pain and anguish that I have never felt before. I am literally choking.
Biopsy - waiting for the pathology. She is so brave - always brave. Steve my brother knows the pathology professor - surely it's a mistake - it can't be true! Steve arrives, personally delivering the news, crying - I know. I know that our lives will never be the same again. I don't want to hear him - I don't want to open the door.
I must be strong, smile, carry on - but I want to lie and cry and cry. My heart hurts from pain. I gather all my strength to carry on.
Act - automatic - find the best doctors - read about the best treatments - carry on - make food - help find care for Sara's little baby boy - our Peleg, whose mom never left him for a minute since he was born. Suddenly she is detached - fighting for her life.
I had a good life - lots of laughter. Everything is changed - I walk in the street and cry.......go to supermarket and cry........can't stop crying - but Sara must not see........she will only see me strong and smiling. It's so hard........
How will I tell my mom? How will I tell my daughter Mili, Sara's best friend and older sister with a baby daughter Gaia the same age as Peleg? They are in the USA - far away ...........I tell them - I break their hearts. They are shocked, devastated - they are coming back on the next plane. My family are around us together with Sara's friends - supporting and showing us their concern and love. Everyone loves Sara.
A new reality........we have to face it and act. Do! One side of my brain wants to shut down and not believe - wants to go back to long, lazy days on the beach and ordinary days at work. Its another lifetime. Twilight zone is the new truth. Sara is so strong and so brave - it breaks my heart even more. I wish she would hit me and scream and release the anguish..............
Friday...........how I am dreading Friday. Friday comes. Surrealistic Friday - Sara, Zahi Sara's husband, Mili and I get into the car - Sara drives. She is the "driver" on her journey and we all follow. My heart is beating so fast from fear and pain - I have never been so scared in my life. But I smile..... Sara is going to shave her head - her beautiful long brown hair - OFF. Bald. My daughter. I can't believe it. I walk into the hairdresser - Limor, a new angel who offered to "do it" - she is kind - she tries to joke and make it as painless as possible - but it hurts - how it hurts. Sara smiling all the time but I see and feel her pain. She is amazing my child.
We begin.......Chemo on Sunday - every Sunday for the next 5 months. It will devastate her body........and kill the cancer. Family, friends - all take turns in going with Sara every Sunday. Zahi always there - always around supporting and loving. Little Peleg growing up - what a happy child. So innocent.
A year has passed. A year full of terrible anguish, yet great hope - a lot of pain mixed with joy. Sara has undergone gruelling treatments of chemotherapy, operations, extremely painful radiotherapy and now hormonal treatment. I am so proud of my child.
Sara is in a different place now.
I wanted to pour my feelings onto paper many times over the past few months - but could not do it. I will not mention you all by name - but I will be eternally grateful to you all - our wonderful and amazing family, friends, doctors, colleagues and acquaintances - who reached out and helped us through very dark days.
By Michelle Maydan - Sara's mother, dedicated to all those who helped and reached out to us in very dark days