When you have been “away” from things as long as I have, it takes a lot of energy to get back on that treadmill. When you are dealing with cancer, your focus becomes just that; dealing with cancer!
Since my mastectomy in June, I have been keeping my business going as best I can, serving existing clients’ needs, but not looking for new business particularly. I haven’t been networking and attending industry events and promoting my business as I have always done. It’s been tough, I won’t lie. I’ve had far more money going out these past few months, than coming in. It’s the nature of what I do. I am the face and the force behind my business. But now that I am starting to feel better I am focusing on just that…my business. I’m taking calls, setting up meetings and really trying to get back into the work mode that I has been my life for decades. It’s a great feeling, but a scary one too. I now have to put myself “out there”. I have to drum up the confidence that my cancer journey has robbed from me. I have to start all over again building up that persona that people associate with me….confident, self assured and capable.
The “capable” I got covered. Cancer didn’t take that away from me, but the other two, that’s where I’m struggling. You have to realize just how isolated you are when you go through this. You don’t see a lot of people. You don’t talk to a lot of people. And you don’t feel like you contribute to anything or accomplish much other than to get through each day. When you are away from the life that you once lived, you lose your momentum.
I am not the same person I was before cancer. I look at life differently and my goals and desires have shifted. I’m 50% through my life and I don’t want the other 50% to be anything but positive, rewarding and to mean something. I was told yesterday that someone I know took their life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was only 42 and left a wife and two small children. He never told anyone of his diagnosis. According to the note he left, he said he didn’t want his loved ones to see him waste away and so made the decision to end things before that happened. I can’t imagine how horrible that would be. I am so lucky that my cancer was removed with my mastectomy and will hopefully not return. Cancer takes away so much from people. It’s not just the flesh and bone that it eats away, its the lives of so many that it destroys. And not just the lives of the people who are diagnosed with cancer, but the lives of the people that love them. Cancer robs you of more than the “physical”. It eats away at your confidence, your self esteem, your energy, your focus, your tolerance and for some, your reason to live.
My life will never be the same. Cancer will always be part of “who I am”. But I won’t let it rob me of who I want to be. Cancer has hurt me, scarred me and has left its’ indelible mark upon me but it has made me more appreciative of what I have and what I want. So now I just have to get over the hurdles that still face me and push through the pain both physical and emotional to get back to the place that I want to be. I need to dig deep to find the strength to face who I am now. To face what cancer has left me. And to show the world that what is left is even better than before.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.