Thank you for visiting with us.
As women – we already have super powers. Childbirth alone qualifies us. And if not that – the monthly cycle by itself – and all that goes with that joyful experience. Brothers ….you and your…well having to shave every day –and all that holding up of the earth and stuff.
So where to begin?
The breast cancer changed me – affected my children/ Made me stronger. Appreciative. Made my two girls tougher – wiser –smarter.
Me too, I like to think. And then came the MS. That’s a different beast. Cancer is a monster – don’t get me wrong. But when you are told that there is light at the end of your particular tunnel, that surgery and aggressive treatment can help you fight – then perhaps after much pain and weeping you steel yourself, go through the painful, but life preserving pain, and get about the business of healing.
MS kind of blindsided me, and I went through all the textbook reactions: disbelief, denial, anger, acceptance and then adapting to living with this particular creature.
And being a single mom and an editor of the New York Amsterdam News, one of the nation’s oldest Black newspapers – and certainly the biggest on the East Coast, meant that the pity parties got raided by the get over yourself police on a regular.
I’m a little off the wall, bit of a nutter – social activism in my DNA, in love with fighting the good cause, not your average Nigerian-born in England living in the U.S. I think!
In February 2013 I went for my annual mammogram at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Expected for it to be a routine visit. But through having to go through a second mammogram, and then an ultra sound – and having to wait to see the radiologist and nurse practitioner - over a four hour span of time – the fear and dread set in. I was terrified that I the cancer had returned, and I was going to have to go on that lonesome journey again.
I was clear, I was told eventually. And I thanked my God and my ancestors. It was rough. And frightening. But it reminded me how grateful I am that I am here to be even tell this story.
Before each of the several operations and procedures I had in 2007 and 2008 – I told myself that there was no guarantee that I would get off the table.
So I am – really grateful.
I take no day for granted, but I appreciate every day I am above ground with my children. Really.
Let's help each other – help each other.