Today, I attended an industry holiday event. I have been looking forward to it and dreading it all at the same time. I must have tried and retried a dozen outfits not knowing what looked good on me. Does anything look good anymore? My sense of self has disappeared. I don’t recognize my body anymore or how to dress it. I remember feeling like this as a teenager when I wasn’t yet comfortable with a body that was not still a little girl but not quite a woman either.
The event was a chance for me to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in ages and also to remind people in the industry that I am in fact still around. When you “disappear” for awhile the expression “out of sight, out of mind” really does apply. I’ve spent almost 23 years building my business and I am damned if cancer is going to take that away from me! But it’s hard. My energy level isn’t where it was and my confidence waivers from minute to minute. One minute I feel like I could take on the world and the next minute I feel like I will start crying and want to flee. But today I pushed myself through the wall of anxiety that can sometimes be crippling and put on my best party face.
Many of my industry friends and collegues know what I have been dealing with and have been very supportive…and they all want to know how I’m doing.
“I’m good, thanks” is my standard answer. And in the grand scheme of things I guess I am. I mean, I’m here…and when you’re dealing with cancer, that is something you think about a lot! When people ask…what else can I say? Can you imagine if I answered with a list like:
Well….I was diagnosed with breast cancer and….
1. I had a double mastectomy
2. suffer from anxiety
3. developed severe neuropathy in my legs
4. have herniated discs in my back and am getting epidural steroid injections
5. now have hiatus hernia and esophagitis from all the medications I take
6. have undergone four surgeries and have two more to go
7. need I go on?!
Ok, even I don’t want to hear about all my ailments. It’s boring. But it’s my life…and some days it really sucks!
So when people ask…I say “I’m fine” or “I’m good” because it’s simpler. And occasionally its even TRUE.
With the holidays quickly approaching I am looking forward to time with my daughter and her new husband. Some quiet time together. Time to reflect and catch up, decompress and count my blessings. Yes…my blessings. I know, I just listed a bunch of sh#tty things that I am dealing with, but in the grand scheme of things I AM blessed. I have a loving family, many friends, a home, food to eat and another year to look forward to. I don’t take that lightly. Just watch the news, or spend time in a hospital and you will see and hear of all the people who are struggling, are ill and don’t have the love and support that I have experienced.
So when someone asks me how I am…even if I am feeling like crap, in retrospect I really am good…and that couldn’t be more true.
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.