happy 2015!


So that photo above is a gratitude jar. It’s a simple thing to make and it’s something I am sharing with all of you because there are good days and bad when dealing with breast cancer or being a survivor, and we also need to take a minute to be thankful once in a while and mindful of life’s blessings.

The thing about this jar is totally simple: you find your jar, tied up with a pretty piece of ribbon or label it and when the spirit moves you, on a little piece of paper jot down something you are grateful for, thankful for, happy about, an accomplishment, a milestone, something cool that happened in your life, appreciation of nature,something you found funny, and so on and add it to your jar. And at the end of the year, as in December 31, open the jar with your friends and family and share the year’s worth of notes.

We all have things that we can be thankful for, and grateful for. If we are alive and kicking to talk about our breast cancer or other cancers for that matter, that should be number one on the list. Life is a gift and it’s easy to forget that when you’re in the middle of treatment or frustrated with health insurance companies or how people don’t get how you’re feeling.

I know plenty of people who live with metastatic breast cancer, I find them totally amazing. So many of them are among the most positive, inspirational, and forward thinking people I’ve ever met. When I am feeling breast cancer survivor bitchy I think of them. They have to actively manage the disease constantly and I am lucky and at this stage am cancer free.

We as survivors as a totality are often a strange bunch, and I have said before it’s like belonging to a sorority that nobody wants to be in but you’re in it. Sometimes people get us, sometimes they don’t.

Some people are very positive and others are very negative about breast cancer. I have a hard time with those who are very negative. I can’t be around them quite honestly. I know it’s hard to be positive some days, but I really can’t deal with the full on negative. In that vein, I also have a hard time going to funerals of people who have died from cancer that I know, especially breast cancer . It sounds really selfish but sometimes I just can’t do it, I can’t go to the funeral.

So that’s why thought I would post about the gratitude jar here too. It’s such a simple thing, and why not? We have nothing to lose by trying to remind ourselves of the value of life and everything to gain.

I can’t believe it’s 2015, but here we are! I wish all of you out there a happy and healthy year! Stay positive as it makes all the difference when you’re fighting this disease!

About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
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5 Responses to happy 2015!

  1. Rita says:

    When should I expect to feel better. I finished herceptin in sept but still feel so exhausted

    Sent from my iPhone


    • the writer says:

      Your body completely changes after breast cancer. I am three years out from treatment but still on tamoxifen and I’m tired a lot of days. Usually now I can pinpoint what is making me tired and a lot of the time now it involves not sleeping a proper amount of hours.

      I had a hormone driven cancer so as the estrogen has been sucked out of my body my ability to sleep through the night has gone down. Some nights I do ok, a lot of nights I don’t. And where I used to be able to sleep eight or nine hours at a clip I’m lucky if I can sleep for five and six hours straight. So for me, that does make me tired some days. And there were days I was bone weary for months after radiation.

      Honestly you should be asking your doctor this question not me. I never took herceptin. I am HER2 negative and am taking tamoxifen and it looks like I’m taking it for the next seven years too.

      I’m definitely not trying to make light of your question, but again it is really something you should be asking your own doctor. What makes me tired might be completely different as to what makes you or someone else tired.

      And how long have you been off the drug? That’s a powerful drug you were taking, and your body might just need time to recover. Also what do those whom you know or have come in contact with with who took or are taking this drug say?

      And not to sound like I am being totally repetitive, but I am not a medical professional I am just another breast cancer survivor like you. You need to NOT be afraid to ask your doctors these questions. One aspect of effective treatment is making sure that your healthcare providers and you have open channels of communication.

      Treatment and the drugs to take a lot out of you. And then there is an emotional component as well.

      Sorry there is not a short answer or a quick fix. I hope you are feeling more like yourself soon.

    • Hi Rita. I took Herceptin, but didn’t really notice a big difference in how I felt. It affects people differently. I do think I may have had a little more trouble with pain in my knees while taking it. Did you have to take radiation? If so, it takes months to build back your energy. I have had a survivor friend also talk about the fatigue. She said it took her a year to get back to herself. I know it took me a couple years to get more like my real self physically and mentally. But it gets better. I also recommend running it by your oncologist.

  2. gregdennis says:

    I love the idea of a Gratitude Jar — good idea whatever one’s health.

  3. I think a gratitude jar is a good idea too. Wonderful way to start your year. I have been wanting to do one, but I opted for keeping a journal and writing my thankful though in it. I was afraid if I waited to ready a jar, I wouldn’t get started in time. I’m such a procrastinator. ha ha Keep us updated on how it goes. Happy New Year!

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