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A Moment in Time – Tell us about one moment that you lived in 2011 that you will never forget.

This year has been full of moments to remember and that changed me.  Thanks to this blog, I have much more direct recall of many of them.

There have been some intense high points for me and for my family, as well as some very dark days, filled with worry and fear.

Perhaps the most profound moment occurred on January 18th.  I was asked to accompany my cousin, Lisa, to an oncology appointment to get the results of a biopsy that she’d had done.  I wrote about the experience later that same day.  Looking back now, I realize how completely so many people were affected by one moment.

I was with Lisa as the doctor told her that she had breast cancer.

How do you adequately convey the enormous wave that crashes over you at that moment?  That one sentence, “You have breast cancer,” is the impetus for everything after that, even when it’s not directed at you.

I’ve tried to explain how it was to be with Lisa at that moment.  It’s physical.  Your mind is in shock; but, your body goes ice-cold and begins to sweat at the same time.  Suddenly, you can count every heartbeat.

There is fear, and the desire to immediately yell, “You’re wrong!  It’s a mistake.”  Instead, you swallow the very large lump in your throat, you blink rapidly to keep tears at bay and you pick up the pen that is laying on the notebook in your lap.  You write furiously, taking notes and drawing copies of the diagrams the doctor is using to explain how the cancer has manifested.  Anything to be calm, reassuring and respectful, to be prepared to do anything that you can to help Lisa accept this and begin her fight.

You think about Lisa’s husband, Tom.  Tom and I grew up together.  We’re five days apart in age, and have always had a bond over our inner-trivia-nerds and love of all things sports and Star Wars.

You think about their two daughters, Victoria, who had just turned 13; and, Emma, who was three.  You think about the rest of our family and Lisa’s, the friends far and wide.  You think, “What can we do?”

Then, you realize that Lisa is talking, asking the doctor about next steps, stages, and how to fight this.  You think of cancer walks, pink T-shirts, and “I Love Boobies” bracelets.

So many things, encapsulated in one moment.

And then, you’re on to the next moment, where you walk with Lisa out into the sunny, clear, crisp Arizona winter day, and you realize that, like Lisa’s, your life has been changed forever by one moment.

In the month of December, I am participating in reverb11.  It is a chance to look back and reflect upon the year just passed, and to look forward to 2012.  Each day, a prompt is issued, and the reverb11 community interprets the prompt in accordance with their own experience.  Join us, won’t you?