I saw a media inquiry fly by on social media overnight:
“XYZ wants to tell the first-person story of someone who’s closed the door on cancer — maybe you just don’t identify with being a “warrior” anymore.
Are you sick of wearing wearing pink? No more room on your wrist for awareness bands? After treatment, what does it take to move on emotionally?”
I responded. And not so much because I need to be featured in some news story, but because once again I think this is a question posed by someone who has never had the disease.
I might be a warrior in a sense but I’m also a woman. And I am a woman first. And the question they posed doesn’t just have one answer.
Ok I have said it many, many times before: breast cancer isn’t about any pink plastic crap or green plastic crap or cutesy little buttons and ribbons.
It is a very public disease with a very private face.
And moving on emotionally depends on your state of mind. I chose to not only be very open about my breast cancer but I made the conscious decision to be positive. I’m not Sister Mary Sunshine all of the time but I’m alive and I am living.
And again, the thing is about their question is it is not a completely cut and dry answer. You can move on from breast cancer but it is forevermore part of you and who you are. It doesn’t have to define you, but it is part of you.
So it’s not so black-and-white where you can say “I moved on emotionally” , because even if you don’t dwell on it every day it’s there because you’ve lived it. So you can only be the best person that you can be and allow for human frailty.
I have days where I look in the mirror and I’m not in a good place. You and your body change so much after breast cancer surgery, treatment, and the onset of breast cancer meds. But I always try to count my blessings and I am so grateful to be alive and I know I am one of the lucky ones.
But how you are emotionally and moving on after breast cancer depends first on yourself as the person who has experienced the disease first hand, and it also depends on the type of people who surround you and your medical care team. My doctors and nurses have always been straight with me but their incredible positive outlook has helped me as well. They have told me since my diagnosis that I’ve got this and I can do this and so far they’ve been right! And the people in my life who were there on a personal level not just a medical professional level have had a similar positive outlook. The people who decided they had to be depressed for me and negative for me and made my cancer about them? They aren’t around so much anymore.
The emotions of breast cancer and surrounding breast cancer and post breast cancer will never be cut and dry. I have learned to accept that.
Be your best you that’s all you can do. And if you’re having a hard time coping emotionally find a therapist to talk to. There is no shame in a little emotional tuneup every now and again.
And incidentally? I still don’t wear much pink and it’s not because of breast cancer it’s because I’ve never worn much pink. But pink I will always identify with proudly? Being part of The Pink Moon Lovelies. Check them out!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello, I am the director and cofounder of country music star Martina McBride’s charity team. I am moved by reading your blog. Our team goes out on tour with Martina around the country… We visit cancer centers, homeless shelters, soup kitchens. Every year at Christmas time, Martina & her fans visit cancer centers to bring gifts & sit with patients during chemo. If you like, read up on us at http://www.TeamMartina.com and http://www.facebook.com/TeamMartina
Thanks for all your effort to help love people through cancer too.
I am a big fan of what you guys do! Thank you so much!
We came across your blog and wanted to reach out to you. Mutual of Omaha’s Aha Moment Tour is going virtual, and we’re looking for stories just like yours! During the month of February, we are looking for aha moments from the Philadelphia area. On February 27th, we’ll be giving away $1,000 to one lucky local who shares their aha moment, to help them continue their journey. Would you be interested in sharing your story?
To enter, submit a photo that represents your aha moment, along with a brief description of your story, to our entry page on Facebook at http://woobox.com/xxk582. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 27th.
It’s all part of Mutual of Omaha’s popular Aha Moment Tour, which exists to uncover the real stories of positive life change from people all across the country. Through a 20-city road trip each summer, the Aha Moment Tour has collected nearly 5,000 individual aha moments over the past 5 years in an Airstream trailer custom designed as mobile TV studio. You can view them all and learn more about the tour at http://www.ahamoment.com
Please let me know if you have any questions about submitting your aha moment or the tour in general.
We look forward to hearing your aha moment, and good luck!