There’s a lot of people I haven’t seen since I was diagnosed with cancer. It happens. Leading up to my diagnosis I was undergoing test after test to determine why I was in such pain and more importantly why I had thick bloody fluid coming out of my nipple; that time seemed to be flying by at lightening speed. And once I was diagnosed, days and weeks became a blur. So unfortunately there are many friends that I am only now reconnecting with.
Today, I was happy to reunite with a collegue/friend that I haven’t seen in over a year. We have known each other for over a decade, having worked together on and off over the years. It was really great to see him. He has been very supportive, keeping in touch every few months via text and he reads my blog. I am always flattered, appreciative and even a bit surprised when I find out that people are reading my blog. Of course I’m happy when they do. After all, I write it in order to hopefully help others. I write it to let them know they are not alone; whether they are fighting the battle or have a friend or family member that may be in the throws of cancer too. But, it still surprises me that people find it “interesting” enough to keep reading what I have to say.
I’ve had people tell me that my blog is too “raw”….sorry folks but I can’t sugarcoat this journey. Others have asked me why I have revealed so many personal stories. Well, as this is MY personal journey, I have to keep it as open and honest as possible. This is my truth and I am sharing in order to help others. If I don’t keep it “real” then it is all for not.
When you remove all filters and speak your truth it can be very cathartic but also very scary. I often feel exposed and vulnerable when someone tells me they’ve been reading my blog. I have written about my deepest, darkest fears and experiences. I have bared it all, figuratively of course. Therefore, most people now know a lot more about me than I do them!
Today’s lunch reunion was great. My friend has had a hard year too. His father passed away in August and his mother fought stage 4 colon cancer and survived…so we had a lot to discuss and share. Today, I didn’t feel “exposed”, even though he’s read all my blogs. He told me that he looked forward to reading my posts; although not to reading about my pain. He told me that he found my stories to be informative, honest and very relatable. He said he found them to be very positive and very humorous. His comments made me feel good. It made me feel that what I was writing and sharing was making a difference. It made me feel that my honesty, as raw as its been, was helping people to understand what it’s like to deal with cancer. It made me feel that this past year has not been a waste. That although my “work” has suffered, I have accomplished something else. Something just as fulfilling for me and something that is perhaps or will be beneficial to others.
I have had my share of negative comments throughout this journey, but I have had even more positive things written and said to me. I have had some very dark days this past year; I have shared that, but when someone says that I “inspired them” or I “helped them understand” or even better ” helped them get through their own dark days with cancer”, then my feelings of fear and despair have disappeared and have been replaced with a feeling of hope and gratitude.
Up until I was diagnosed with cancer, I never thought that I would be describing and sharing the things that I have in this blog. I never thought that I would “inspire” or even affect someone with my story. I never thought that I would “make a difference” to someone else who is suffering from this brutal disease. I am not anything “special”. I am not a “super hero,” although I’d love to rock that Wonder Woman outfit, and I am no more courageous than anyone else fighting cancer. I am just a girl, who’s trying to stay positive, trying to find the good in every day and trying to get through this battle the best I can.
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.