Updated: Sep 8, 2020
When diagnosed with cancer it is inevitable you start to spend all your hours thinking, talking, and feeling cancer. Google... I looked to it for answers, for the truth. What does this mean for my future? So many unknowns, new routines, changes, and the constant worry of will I survive? Dealing with events we can’t control might be the most challenging experience we face as humans.
Cancer quickly takes over, appointment after appointment and the life that you once knew is no longer and your 24/7 job is now to survive. Compare that to any stressful day on the job or bad day in general and the difference in my experience is, most of us looked at cancer straight in the eyes and thought “bring it on”. We don’t have control over the diagnosis, we do have full control over our reaction to it. I believe that many who have experienced such trauma change in ways that they never want to go back to the “old me”. Unfortunately, it’s too bad there isn’t an easier road to discover this newfound love and appreciation for life.
In the beginning, I was wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share, mostly because there were so many unknowns. As time went on, I found ways to share with those I wanted to, my circle of support was drawn, and I felt better speaking out about my experience. Explaining treatments, side effects, and everyday changes were part of my healing.
If your newly diagnosed take time to remember who you are, what you love, what your known for, and know that you are still YOU. At times I lost myself, I allowed the image in the mirror to be what I saw, and I needed to look in the eyes looking back at me. Once I did, I was reminded of that girl and even though she was fighting for her life, she was still me. Be kind to yourself, healing takes time. Scars are reminders of how far you have come, how amazing your body is, and what it will do for you to stay alive.
I am no longer embarrassed, shy, or afraid to talk about my cancer diagnosis. I’ve changed as a person and I choose the experience to empower myself to be the best version of me. There is more to me than cancer, I choose not to be defined by this diagnosis, instead it defines the fuel for my purpose and actions each and every day. Cancer is part of my story, undeniably. However, I am finding and discovering myself on a level I never once knew was
I’m quite content to be a “Wife”, “Mom”, “Sister”, “Daughter” and “Friend”. possible.