I am still trying to adjust to my “new” but certainly not “improved” body. It is a very bizarre feeling having foreign objects inside your body. I am always aware that “they” are there. Not just because they are still very painful, but because they don’t feel like part of me. They don’t move…literally. Now maybe things will loosen up as time goes on and my skin relaxes around them, but right now they look like two bocce balls stuck to my chest.
The left side of my chest, where the cancer had invaded my breast, throbs constantly. I still have the hematoma left over from my mastectomy, that pushes against the implant and bulges out under my arm. It looks like hell and hurts like hell. I still can’t wear a seat belt without a pillow laid across my chest and driving is still difficult as lifting my arms to hold the steering wheel aggravates things. But you do what ya gotta do in order to move on with your life. Even when its not the life you imagined it to be.
People say things like “you wouldn’t have been given cancer if you couldn’t handle it.” I know these “standard phrases” are meant as a compliment of sorts…but have you really thought about what those words are saying? First off….who is making the decision to dole out the diseases and why the fu#k, would “they” want to make someone go through cancer? And, newsflash….not everyone who gets cancer does “handle” it. Many people suffer terribly, and many people die. I just happen to be one of the lucky ones. And I am VERY LUCKY.
So, given my luck, I try to find the “positive” in what this journey has brought me. Even as I say it, that sounds weird. How could being diagnosed with cancer, undergoing a double mastectomy and two reconstructive surgeries to date, have anything “positive” to grasp onto. Well, one, I did and am handling it…although not always graciously or as bravely as I would have wanted. Two, I have learned that even in the darkest of times, I have been able to keep my sense of humour and to make others laugh instead of cry at my situation….and three, and this is the biggest and best part of the journey, I have had many others join me, follow me, send comments to me and reassure me that I am not alone. When I first started my blog, shortly after being diagnosed April 30, 2018, I thought maybe some friends and family might read what I had to say. My blog was designed as a way for ME to put down my feelings and to share in ways that were too hard for me to verbalize. My blog has been one of the biggest contributors to my healing. It has enabled me to process all that has happened and all that I have experienced in a way that I could not have done otherwise. What has surprised me and quite frankly, overwhelmed me, is how many people read what I have to say. To date I have readers in 78 countries. Some of my posts have had as many as 1.6 million views. I am humbled and delighted at the same time. To think that my blog which was started as a catharsis for me, has made even a small difference to anyone else, is thrilling. If I can help even one person feel inspired, or connected, or informed by what I share then I truly have found the POSITIVE piece to this cancer puzzle.
I would love to hear from more of you. To get to know your stories and how you have or are coping with this disease. Cancer has completely altered my life, both physically and spiritually. I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I know there are no guarantees in life and just because you plan things to go one way, your path can be completely diverted in an instant.
My journey is not over but I feel like I have a clearer path in front of me…even if its still a bit bumpy.
Feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
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.