survivor shaming

  I just approved a comment written by a woman who claims to be a breast cancer survivor. Apparently she took issue with one of the posts I wrote about what I feel are scammy and not helpful breast cancer “charities”. I am not linking back her particular comment, although it has provided the impetus for today’s post.

Every breast cancer survivor and patient is different just like no two cancers are hundred percent the same. This blog has been about my journey for the past four years, and will probably continue to be about my journey for years to come. Breast cancer is no “one and done even” even if you never get a recurrence. It’s something you live with. It’s how you handle what you’re living with that get you through. 

I write this blog because it keeps me real. I’m grateful and honored that I have been able to help some people with their journeys by expressing my own here. Don’t throw up on my blog and go all judging on me. You aren’t living in my head, walking in my shoes, and I don’t share everything that I am going through every day.

I have worked really hard to remain positive throughout this journey, and maybe I should write more about the days that are not so positive. 

I will admit that lately I have been struggling. I went back to work after taking time off and I am fortunate and blessed that I can set my own schedule. But what I am discovering even a few years post surgery and post radiation my new reality is my brain is no longer the same. Menopause and tamoxifen are taking their toll. I refuse to let either get the best of me and I will remain on my positive path but there are some days I am just frustrated. 

Some days I have zero energy or bizarre aches and pains or like today a hard time concentrating. I feel like a total wimp admitting these things. Some days I look in the mirror and I just want to cry. This disease does attack the core of your femininity. And while most of the time I am okay there are some days I just wish I could rewind the clock. But I can’t. 

The upside is that for every bad day I work through I know I am rewarded with many blessings and many good days ahead. But it just irritates this not out of me when I get one of these comments from some random person out there in Internet land thinks they can know or judge me.

One thing that really irritated me is this woman’s pronouncement that I must’ve been one of those women that was able to pay for everything having to do with breast cancer easy peasy. News flash, not that it is anyone’s business but my own, I am still paying for my radiation bill. 

And every once in a while when I think some procedure, surgery, or test is done and paid for and finished I see that my insurance company and the hospital system are still wrangling over who’s paying for what.

But there’s only so much I can control. So reluctantly I have had to learn to roll with it.

I have spent the last few years feeling like every time I turn around I have to go see a doctor or have a test. Subconsciously I think it had gotten to me a little because I realize this week when I was going to see my oncologist that I had forgotten to schedule a mammogram first.

I’m tired of not sleeping and I’m tired of hot flashes. But I am also mindful of the fact that I am grateful to God to be alive. But the way I have handled my cancer journey is not necessarily the way everyone is going to handle their personal journey. And I realize that but at the same time I am not going to put up with random survivors rolling up on my blog and telling me how I should be or trying to survivor shame me.

This woman also made this bizarre comment about her breasts trying to kill her. Lady, our breasts are trying to kill us, they have a disease inside them which tried to harm us.  I do not think my breasts tried to kill me, they just happen to have something bad grow within which was removed.

As I approach my fourth anniversary of being cancer free I am mindful of my blessings. But like every other woman who has had breast cancer I have my bad days and my fears of recurrence. Unfortunately this is natural. It’s not pleasant but I keep moving forward. 

June 1st is my next cancerversary. Yay me! Thanks for stopping by today.

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About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.
This entry was posted in breast cancer, health insurance and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to survivor shaming

  1. J says:

    Internet hugs for you! And also thanks for what you share. What you wrote today hit home, the good and the bad and the turning your brain into paste it’s so needlessly aggravating crap like insurance issues…

    We are made of tough stuff, but that stuff still takes a beating and can hurt again and again, making recovery feel like a silly daydream. *one more careful hug*

    However! Today it’s spring and I’m dizzy with gardens and flowers and trees leafing and the everyday beauty of that squirrel laid out on his tummy in the shade for no reason at all. Breathe it in, baby, and mark it on your mind – it can be a quite beautiful life in a moment.

    I believe I saw you write something like that once. Azaleas incoming! Here’s to you! 🙂

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