August 10th…. The Day That Changed Everything

They say you always remember the date and place you were when something memorable happens….good or bad. One date I will always remember is August 10, 2010, when I got “the call”.

I had a biopsy done days before, on a lump that was under my armpit, and was waiting for the results. I was not anxious at all because both my breast surgeon and I did not think it was anything to be concerned with.

It was a warm summer day and Michaela, Max and I were hanging at home with Wally, of course. Late morning the telephone rang. A call that would change my life, and those who are part of it, forever.

I picked up the phone in my bedroom. My [awesome] breast surgeon, Dr. X, was on the line. She told me she had the pathologist on the other line and she found a malignancy. I asked if I had cancer. Dr. X said, ” Yes, you have breast cancer.” Damn!

Michaela was standing next to me. She said I was in shock. Well, who wouldn’t be? I continued to talk with Dr. X on what the next steps would be.

After I hung up, I immediately called Mark at work. He couldn’t believe the news. No one did.

I was pretty calm after hearing the news. Maybe as Michaela thought, I was in shock.

Later that day, I let family and friends know. I had a good cry with some of them, and then it was time to move forward.

I truly believe I was meant to get breast cancer. While I know that may sound crazy to some, I believe I was given this awful disease in order to help others and their caregivers. Now, this is my purpose in life.

After a year of treatments and such, I became a mentor with The Reach To Recovery program through the American Cancer Society.

I really enjoy mentoring such fabulous, strong women, who at the time of mentoring are recently diagnosed with breast cancer. As much as I help them, they help me.

I started this blog as a way to inform, educate and help others.

When I was diagnosed with stage IIIC breast cancer, I was mad, but I never questioned it……until September 24, 2013.

More on that later…


9 thoughts on “August 10th…. The Day That Changed Everything

  1. Over the years, I’ve often thought it was strange that we remember where we were and what we were doing when we got the “you have breast cancer” news. It seems very much like remembering that my 4th grade class was making Thanksgiving place mats when we learned that President Kennedy had been shot, then had died, or that my co-worker’s husband called her with the news that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings and we joined dozens of others in the hospital lobby watching as the second tower was hit. After almost 25 years, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but one thing I know and did figure out a long time ago is that there is no one as fierce as a woman with breast cancer (and I say that in a good way.) Some more so than others, but we all have that burning desire to survive.

    Susan, I knew the moment I met you that you were one of the fiercest survivors I’d ever known! I was only surprised that it took you so long to start writing, but so honored to have been a small part of your journey to “Let us be Mermaids.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had the privilege of coordinating the Reach to Recovery program, mentoring patients, working with Susan’s breast surgeon and medical team and the wonderful people at the American Cancer Society. I matched the patients with a volunteer mentor who was closest to her type of breast cancer (i.e. stage, pathology, age, children, hobbies and other criteria. Susan Rosen was our most enthusiastic volunteer by far. Not only was she fairly recently diagnosed, and coping with her own health challenges, but she was ready to help others take on their breast cancer. Susan’s mentees had the toughest time ahead of them, and many that were assigned to Susan had young children. I knew that Susan’s positive attitude and strength were just what they needed. I am sure Susan made many good friends (as did I) along the way. Thank God for Susan Rosen’s cheerful attitude and outlook on life. Thanks Susan for your very informative blog. God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cherlyn,

    Thank you for your guidance in helping me become a Reach to Recovery mentor.
    Having breast cancer is not something I wish for anyone to have, but for me, I have met some of the most wonderful and caring people along this journey. Like Deb, I am so thankful are paths crossed.

    Thank you for the very kind words you have written. They have put a great big smile on my face! 😃

    Take care,


    Liked by 1 person

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