November 18, 2012
In my late-twenties, I came up with an acronym that seemed to reflect what I was looking for in a special someone: EMWA or Expand My World Ability. I realized I was looking for someone to go on adventures with and who would expose me to new ways of thinking, new cultures and new experiences. I realized that not only was I looking for EMWA in men, this seemed to be the mantra of my life. In going 8 hours away from my suburban Detroit home for my undergraduate degree: Searching for EMWA. Ski bumming the winter of 1992 in Colorado and joining the Peace Corps the same year: Searching for EMWA. Recruiting for Peace Corps for 5 years upon my return to the US: Searching for EMWA. Living in Los Angeles for 2 years and teaching on Chicago’s South Side for 8 years—4 of those while attending Loyola Chicago’s Graduate Public History program: Searching for EMWA. Meeting my husband nearly 11 years ago: Finding EMWA.
In the process of searching for EMWA, I have found it and expanded my world greatly. But just like the saying “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know,” I realize the more I experience and find EMWA, the more there is to experience. I will always be searching for and finding EMWA.
Which brings us to Fall 2011. My husband and I were 2 years into our New Orleans experience, I was teaching at my second local charter high school–which I was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about–and I was finally having my baseline mammogram that I had put off for 3 years. Needless to say, I was not at all prepared for the EMWA that was about to hit my life. A suspicious mammogram my first time out? Seriously???? Breast cancer at age 43 with no family history?? Please.
I started a Caring Bridge blog within days of my diagnosis and you will find most of these posts added to this blog. These will cover the immediate ‘treatment’ phase of my life with breast cancer. This blog is more about my journey now that I am a member of the breast cancer community and my continued searching for EMWA—and what I find.
So, to begin. My world was expanded with a simple breast cancer diagnosis…