April 30, 2018…
can you remember what you did that day?
Four years ago today I heard the words that forever changed me. Without so much as a glance my way, a surgeon opened a file and began to tell me the results of my biopsy.
“You have cancer.”
” Excuse me, I have what?????!!!!”
That scene, even four years later, plays over in my mind like it was yesterday. I heard that news alone and without any kind of human contact from the doctor. She didn’t look at me once. She just read the results of my biopsy, told me I had cancer and that I was going to have to have a mastectomy. She might as well have been reading her shopping list.
I have been through a lot since that day…both good and bad. I have overcome many hurdles and tripped and fallen on my face more than once. I have endured seven surgeries and have dealt with both physical and emotional pain. I have chosen to share my story in order to help others and in all honesty, to help myself heal. My journey has created new wounds and opened up some old ones that I have kept buried for many years. I have shared my fears and doubts. I have shared my struggles with body image and self esteem. I have shared my new challenges with anxiety and chronic pain…and I have shared my triumphs, my accomplishments and my determination to find the humour, fun and joy in my life.
I never would have imagined that on April 30, 2018, when I was told I had cancer, that I would still be dealing with the ramifications of this terrible disease. But then again, when I heard those words, I was numb. I didn’t really think about myself. All I could think of was how was I going to tell my family, my friends and my colleagues. How was I going to break the news to them without falling apart? Somehow I did….and then alone, without anyone to witness, I crumbled. I let myself feel that fear. I let myself be weak. I let myself be overcome with a wash of emotions that came over me like a giant wave. But, I didn’t let that wave pull me under. I fought against that powerful current. I fought against the forces pulling me out to sea, away from the safety of shore. I surfaced, took a giant breath and stood up tall. I found a physical and mental strength that I never knew I had. I had to dig deep. I had to push myself to keep fighting. I had to survive!
Yes, there have been some very dark and difficult days, weeks even months over the last four years, but there have been many bright, joyous and wonderful times too. Those are the moments I want to focus on. Those are the moments that give me strength. Those are the moments I choose to celebrate, today, April 30, my cancerversary.
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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.
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