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Amber on Her Cancer Scare

Amber Marchese opens up about what it was like to receive the inconclusive results from her cancer screening.

By Amber Marchese

"Man is made of such a seemly shape, that friend or foe is not discerned by face; then hard it is the wickeds’ wiles to scape, since that the bad to mask with honest grace." Geoffrey Whitney

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If Whitney could reach into my soul and pull out exactly what is there, he would have used these words. I don’t know who to trust -- who is my friend, who is my enemy, what are everyone’s intentions? This is a truly awful feeling that, clearly, many have felt throughout history based on so many literary works on the subject. What is the driving force behind our actions? How do we come to our perceptions of situations? It all can be profoundly attributed to the interactions between genetics, social factors, and environment. We take from our experience good attributes as well as negative attributes such as, weakness, insecurity, jealous, hatred, and even a lack of empathy. 

I read Nicole and Teresa’s blogs and see what they tweet about me. It is clear that they have made up their minds that no matter what, whether their thoughts are logical or illogical, they will displace their anger and frustrations onto me. It is a classic textbook definition of displacement, “aggressing against a substitute target because aggressive acts against the source of the frustration are inhibited by fear or lack of access” (Kassin, Fein, Markus, 2008). I believe they are displacing their anger at Victoria Gotti and other potential factors could be a possibility in this entire scenario. 

I can’t control others' actions, however, I can control mine. I am completely confident that I handled the information that Vicitoria Gotti said to me in the most appropriate manner. Call it a chess move. In my mind, whether I was set up to take the fall or not, I had to deal with the situation. I had to make a move. I was told this information, so I made a conscious decision to put Teresa on notice that I thought it was all weird and I am not saying one word to any of the girls. What Teresa and now Dina do with this information is up to them. I firmly stood my ground on that and kept to my word. However, I do not believe the twins should be taking it up with anyone but Victoria Gotti and TereSSA’s husband, Rino. They especially need to stop misdirecting their aggressions towards me. I got ganged up on at a “party” over something that was true, here this rumor was crazy, weird, and I was not going anywhere near this one. NOWHERE. Nor was I at a comfortable point with TereSSA or Nicole to have a discussion about what Victoria Gotti said, moreover, since Victoria is Teresa’s friend, it was not my place to say anything. Follow me?

I am not sure why Teresa told Dina in the manner that she did. She of all people knew that I was nothing more than an ear to what HER friend was telling me. Furthermore, I had already made it unequivocally clear that I was not saying a damn word to anyone. I took the risk to tell her at the party to make sure we were in agreement, so I am not sure of her intentions. I do know from past conversations that we have had, that she was burned many times before, even by people she loved dearly. I am not making excuses for Teresa, however, I do have an understanding of what she’s been through. However, it is me she is distrusting, so I have to defend myself, and honestly there is nothing to really defend. I tapped out of this situation, now how others handle it is it up to them. Remember, I can only control my actions, not the actions and behavior of others. Addressing my annoying phone call to Teresa. OH dear Lord, what can I say, I just wasn’t myself. There were two reasons that I consider to be the driving force to calling Teresa and asking her questions like that. One, I obviously was going through a lot of health issues. I was so scared. I just wanted to get through this five year mark so I could finally go on with my life. I wanted to put cancer behind me and get to a point where it no longer defines me. I love my babies so much; I live and breathe for them. I don’t want to lose them. My burning fear has always been that they will grow up without a mother, as I lost my dad at a very young age. Being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at a young age when my babies were little made that fear a real possibility. And it came out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. I just never thought it was possible for me, I guess I was arrogant. Instead of enjoying young motherhood, I was fighting for my life, while trying to remain as “normal” as possible. I really relate to Teresa. Granted, her situation is a different, but the fear of losing time with our babies is the same. 


Another reason for my overly sensitive reactions to Teresa is that I am familiar with these types of cases due to Jim's line of work. I did not want to place judgment on Teresa. I wanted to know where she stood so we could move on with our friendship. It was very difficult for me to separate my own personal experience while watching a friend deal with a similar situation. One thing that kept me straight is that just like cancer, each case is different. And, what I know, love, and respect about Teresa is that she is a fiercely devoted mother just as I am.

Hearing the word, “inconclusive” brought me right back to when I was first diagnosed. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I had just put my 6-month-old and 18-month-old down for a nap, the older guys were in school. My doctor called and I was alone. He told me to sit down and then relayed to me that I had invasive carcinoma. At that point, he did not know what stage, but I would be doing many tests and surgeries over the next couple days to determine the full diagnosis. I remember feeling like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, I just dropped to the floor in fetal position and screamed, however, the sound never actually came out. I called my husband who was in a meeting; I remember screaming to him that I have cancer. His office is twenty minutes away, but I swear he got home before I could even hang up the phone. He held me that day and told me it would be OK, that I was not going to die. He said that to me every day after that, too. Each morning I would wake and ask if it was all just a nightmare, he would say, “No, but you will just fine, you will be will be the one kissing me goodbye.” I know you all have not properly gotten to meet this amazing man that I am honored to call my husband, but I promise you, he is not getting a fair shake. A man can be measured by how strong he is by how strong he remains strong for his family in times when it all seems unbearable and hopeless. He was my sanity when I thought I was losing my mind. He was mother/father when I had no energy to do my job. He kept our home and fought so hard to make sure that although others stole from us, he was not going to let anyone hurt us. Yes, I know it is LENTEN season, not lentil. Apparently, I believe we should eat lentil beans for forty days and forty nights, which, I am sure the other parishioners would not like. Just to clarify, I grew up Catholic but religion was not a huge part of our family life. In fact, I only received Confirmation three years ago after I was done with treatment. Being a Catholic is a working process and there is still so much to learn. 

I just want to quickly mention a few points about TereSSA and Nicole’s blog. There was nothing in that text to Bobby that required a response from Nicole.Iif it did, I would have copied Nicole in that text. I knew Bobby way longer than I knew Nicole, I wanted answers from MY friend for what he did to me and my husband. I was hoping to even just understand his point of view, explain it to my very stubborn husband, and hopefully continue the friendship that we had with him. Simply put, I was missing my friend and my kids were asking where Uncle Bobby was. Frankly, Nicole must have made a good impression on my little girl, Isabella, because she still asks for her and wants us to be friends to this day. However, she did read it, and read it out loud to the world. I did question what Bobby did to me, and called him out for what I knew were Bobby’s true feelings for Nicole from long conversations that Bobby and I had. If I were Nicole reading this, I would have taken pause. Why is Amber saying this? I should hear her out. Nicole should have been astute enough to question why I was saying what I was saying and took note. Now it’s been so long and ties have been long severed. For the best I might add. I wish those two a beautiful, blissful, long life together. God bless.

TereSSA’s contention that the Florida trip was an “ambush” is completely illogical for several reasons. First, we were told by Victoria Gotti before any knowledge of the Florida trip. Second, both Teresa and I agreed we were not saying anything about this information. Third, it was Melissa and Dina’s idea to take the trip and they had absolutely no idea what was said to us. Lastly, BOTH Teresa and I were not even going! What were we planning on doing, Skyping in to “ambush” her. Please! You've got issues, girl, which, I don’t fault you for, but stop being weak and go to the damn source! 

Wow, there was a lot in this one. I seriously could write forever. I do love it. I was at my children’s parent/teacher conference last night. There was a sign in their literature class that read, “Truth fears no questions.” I believe this and that is why my blogs are so long. I have a lot of faults, but lying and being deceitful is not one of them. I enjoy speaking my mind, and getting tough questions back, because I speak with integrity and passion. 

Love you all, thank you for your support. And please know that I read ALL of your emails of survival, loss, and/or encouragement. Please know, I do not take for granted for one second that you are sharing your stories with me. They keep me strong and remind me what I came to do on this show. 

Love and blessings to you all, 

Amber Marchese

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