Hey, me again… I’m still here! It’s been four years since my world was rocked. I’m a four year breast cancer survivor. Naturally I’m terribly pleased, but it’s not like all of a sudden I’ve reached utopia where I relax and let my guard down. Life after cancer is filled with silent lonely battles.
I’m one year away from that ‘magical’ five year mark. This is a term doctors and researchers use as a benchmark amongst themselves to compare cases, not predict individual outcomes. So who knows what that really means for me. What I do know is I can’t escape the constant reminders of what an arsehole cancer is.
March 27th is the date I officially received my cancer diagnosis. After a surreal four weeks, I had my double mastectomy which erased cancer from my body on April 29th. This time period is pretty insignificant for most, but this four week period sends me spiraling back to those dark days. I probably have PTSD to be honest. And I think this is probably normal.
The constant nightmare of being a breast cancer survivor is not something we simply ‘put behind us’. Our appointments, communications with doctors and constant monitoring of our bodies are the difference between survival and recurrence. Living and dying. Seeing your kids graduate and not seeing them graduate. And no child should have to care for mom as she battles this horrid disease.
As I reach my four year ‘anniversary’ (which sounds far to jolly for what I’m commemorating here), there are a few things on my mind.
Yet being around women who know what it’s like to worry about leaving their children without a momma, hoping to see them graduate, or wondering if they will have a recurrence, makes me feel safe and understood. I will always be there for others walking this path… regardless of any personal pain it may trigger. Cancer survivor’s need each other. We’re in the same club.
We all die. It’s inevitable. I’m not afraid to die. Having stared death in the face, I’m now more afraid of not living each day with purpose. With passion. With love. With gratitude. And I vow to live each remaining day I am given with purpose.
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.