“Hit me with your Best Shot…” the voice of 80’s rocker Pat Benatar fills our SUV on this late summer morning. My husband and I are driving through Beverly Hills, on our way to meet my surgical oncologist for the first time. “Knock me Down, it’s all in Vain. I’ll Get Right Back up on my Feet Again.” I’m singing along and feeling empowered. The glass buildings on Avenue of The Stars reach into the Los Angeles haze high above the traffic. My eyes follow the buildings and I stop singing. Instead now I am looking up and praying for God to work with me and through me to empower others. I reach across the leather seat and grasp my husbands’ hand.
It’s been three days since my cancer diagnosis. In those three days, I have moved from incredible sadness to optimism. I know that I will not fight this battle alone. I am assembling my team. A few hours after my diagnosis, Dr. Kristi Funk of Pink Lotus Breast Center texted me. Her message reads like this: “You will survive this. I already know it. : ) ”She’s a top notch oncology surgeon and she ends her message with a smiley face…how cool is that? I share the news of my diagnosis and tentative treatment plan with those close to me. My managing editor at work responds with this text:
“Kristi Funk is awesome.
Sandra Mitchell is awesome.
New Dream Team Forming.”
We arrive at Pink Lotus Breast Center and Dr. Funk huddles with us for 90 minutes. She shows us statistics and uses words like “irradiation” and “Oncotype.” She talks like the Ivy league grad she is and looks like a supermodel. And, like Phil Jackson she has her Zen moments. She suggests I consider Chinese Medicine as a supplement to the more traditional treatment and recovery. Kristi, you’ve just been signed as head coach!
My husband is giving me pep talks and we’re already discussing how we can use this journey to recovery to help others. My husband is a sensitive and positive man. He also is 6’6″ tall. His shoulders are broad enough to hold the entire cheerleading pyramid. He’ll be my cheer captain. There are others who have been drafted. My colleagues at The CBS News Broadcast Center who will jump into action when I am on the DL. I also have an incredibly deep bench…my many friends and faraway family members who I am confident will be there in my victorious days ahead…and on the days when there surely will be setbacks.
The Dream Team is assembled.
Cancer…YOU ARE GOING DOWN!
As for team uniforms….I’m thinking something with a pink ribbon would be nice!