New Words.

02. September 2016 Gina DeNicola 6
New Words.


A few months ago I finally broke down and told my mother I didn’t believe in God.  Her, almost predictable answer was, “Yes you do Gina.”  But I don’t, I’m not sure I even believe in the power of prayer.  Here’s why. Yesterday my baby sister was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Last week my mother and I sat in the doctor’s office while my sister was having a series of biopsies done and my mom was going on about all the people who were praying for her, and she was wondering if one of my sister’s church was also praying.  Fast forward a week and all those prayers did nothing, she is still a 36-year-old mother of 3 children under the age of 7 with breast cancer.   It’s still early, and there are no stages yet, no treatment plans, no explanations.  Just a phone call my baby sister got, alone, at work.

When the word cancer enters your family, it doesn’t quietly knock on the front door and asks to be let in.  It comes barging in like a bull in a china shop and all of a sudden nothing matters. It doesn’t matter whether you have too many wrinkles.  That number on the scale that you’ve been fighting with for years doesn’t matter.  Your constant obsession with body image, all of a sudden, seems like the most trivial thing in the world.  All of a sudden your lexicon of words change from scales, diets, pounds, face cream to stages, lymph nodes, chemo, mastectomies.

You observe how different family members react to the news, and it seems they all react differently than you would have expected, even yourself. I found myself shutting out the noise of all those new words and I tracked down friends who were diagnosed with some sort of cancer and had all survived.  I hunted those people down in person or virtually and got hugs.  Hugs from people who have been to the very place my family and me are now standing, and they came out on the other side.

I don’t know how to react to all these new words.  I don’t know how to stop crying in the grocery store.  I don’t know how to answer you when you say “I’m sorry.”   What I do know is this, my baby sister is the strongest out of all five of us siblings.  I know I can give good hugs.  I know that I can be the supportive big sister.  But most of all I know that we are a family that is closer than close, and we will take care of each other.

It will be a hard road ahead for my baby sister, but she is strong. She has a stronger family supporting her and for now, the mantra has to be “it will all be fine”.

6 thoughts on “New Words.”

  • 1
    Teresa Blackburn on September 6, 2016 Reply

    Gina I am so sorry about your baby sister. I have quite a few friends who were diagnosed a few years ago of varying ages and they are all alive today to tell their story of fear, love, loss and hope, not to mention the wonderful world of modern medicine. You and yours are in my thoughts. Love to you, Teresa

  • 2
    Rickie Crone on September 2, 2016 Reply

    I to can relate to Toni’s feeling of peace in Jesus! I know that I am only here through the touch of God’s hand on me! And the peace He gave me after Jamie died! I still get that pain, even today as I was taking Peyton to get her teeth cleaned and the hygienist called me her mom and my heart clinched. But I truly don’t what I would without the hope of seeing her one day again! Gina I know that Cancer can be beat and how devastating this news is to your family! I will pray for Amanda and her kids and for you and your family as well!

  • 3
    Kayce on September 2, 2016 Reply

    My strong and beautiful friend. Love and light to you and your sister. ❤️❤️❤️

  • 4
    Beth on September 2, 2016 Reply

    I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. I will be thinking about you often and hoping for a positive outcome.

  • 5
    Toni on September 2, 2016 Reply

    Gina, I’m so sorry to hear about Amanda and what your family is going through. Though our situations are different, I understand a lot of the emotions you’re going through and how helpless you feel. I respect you’re right to your opinion but I just wanted to share that losing Jamie had the very opposite effect on me. We never got the chance to pray for Jamie, by the time we got the news of her accident she was already gone. The grief was truly almost more than I could bear but I learned that when no friend or person on this earth could say the words to make me feel better that when I cried out to Jesus he brought a peace that amazes me to this day. The heartbreak was there but hopelessness was not. So I found that the most devastating event of my life made me more aware of Jesus’ existence than anything I’ve experienced before. Much love to all your family as you’re going through this difficult time. My prayers are with all of you.

  • 6
    Vicki-Sue on September 2, 2016 Reply

    I don’t believe in God either so I will say that I am sending positive thoughts to you and your sister.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *