If there is one thing I have learned during my short experience with cancer over the last year it is that the cancer community is one of the best groups I have ever been a part of. No one joins the group by choice, but once you are in the “club” the community welcomes you with open arms. I am so grateful for the new friendships that have grown from this painful experience, I call cancer. In the spirit of community I will be using my blog as a platform to share the perspectives of many other young cancer survivors. Though our stories and experiences may differ, the struggles we face and the many of the emotions we feel are the same. This community brings me immense love and hope for the future. I hope that Monisha’s story resonate with you and brings you perspective and enlightenment about life after cancer. To read more of Monisha’s writing, check out her blog Purpose Painted Pink.
During my cancer treatment I was so consumed with literally fighting for my life that I never really took the time to think about life after cancer. I fought through chemo. I fought through a bilateral mastectomy. I fought through the nausea, the exhaustion, the pain. I fought until I finally heard the oncologist say, “cancer free.”
I’m still fighting.
The other side of a breast cancer diagnosis is an interesting place.
A place of humility. A place of gratefulness. A place where those “just checking on you” phone calls aren’t as frequent. A place where you really begin to assess the collateral damage. It’s a place where you feel like you’re playing catch up in a world that you thought stood still while you were battling it out with cancer.
The exhaustion you looked forward to leaving behind in that blue recliner seems to linger on. You feel a bit overwhelmed at all the preventative cancer treatment options thrown at you as you haven’t fully been able to bask in your new “cancer survivor” status.
The excitement of “new boobs” quickly wears off as you fully come to terms with the fact that your breasts are gone. It’s a place where you’re forced to learn how to love yourself again.
The other side of a breast cancer diagnosis is a place of new beginnings.
A place where you realize you can never fully go back to the person you were before your diagnosis. A place where you redefine stress, reevaluate your priorities and realize the true value of time and people. It’s a place where you discover strength you didn’t know you had. A place where you realize that the scars and peach fuzz on your head are simply signs that you made it! It’s a place where you commit to living a more purpose driven life. It’s a place of renewed faith.
It’s a place where you realize losing your hair and your breasts didn’t make you any less of a woman, it made you a better woman, a bolder woman, a woman who didn’t just survive cancer, but one determined to thrive.