(originally published in Spanish in 2019)
The day of my diagnosis was certainly surreal. I had 3 medical appointments scheduled, and one of them was to pick up the results of a breast biopsy performed 10 days earlier. That morning I was happy, calm, confident that everything would be fine. In the afternoon I went to my medical appointments accompanied by my dad. The first appointment was for an eye exam and to get a prescription for glasses. The second appointment was to pick up the biopsy results. The doctor told me "sweetie, the results came out a little bit not so good"... I felt my guts clench and I had to go to the bathroom. I went to the third appointment with a dermatologist anyway, because since I was already there, why not complete the rounds.
That night two friends came to accompany me for a while, like when someone dies and people know it's better not to leave you alone. In the end they left, but not before leaving me a whole pack of anxiety pills "just in case". Then, in the solitude of my new reality I wrote in my diary - "Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This is a huge gift, of that I am certain. Thank you Life for this opportunity to go even deeper into trust and healing and understanding of all things." Then I didn't sleep all night, and ended up taking the meds but they did nothing.
Trapped in a state of passive panic, the main fear was not of death, but of the well known cancer treatments. And above all, the fear was of not knowing what to do, which way to go. Curiously, it did not cross my mind "why me", "this is unfair", "poor me". Instead it did cross my mind "what can I learn from this?", "what is the message?", "what things in my life could have led to my body's need to speak to me with something so radical?", "how will I be able to change what I need to change in order to heal?"
That weekend I was scheduled for a yoga and sailing retreat in the Las Perlas Archipelago. Although I doubted whether I had the mettle to go teach yoga in light of my new reality, I fortunately followed the advice of those who know me best, and spent my first post-diagnosis weekend in paradise, with my mother and adoring friends, doing what I love most in the world - sailing. Because of this, I had the joy, early on in this adventure, of being able to connect with gratitude and the recognition that despite everything, I am a lucky and blessed woman.
The next step... telling my children that Mommy has cancer, but that everything will be fine.