I’m here!!!! Recurrence is THE worst fear for those who’ve battled breast cancer, and five years is an important milestone. I was completely caught off guard when I heard those dreaded words, ‘you have stage 2 breast cancer.’ When you’re given a cancer diagnosis, the immediate goal is to remove the cancer, and complete treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence. Each year that passes, reduces your recurrence risk. Zero, by the way, simply isn’t possible.
I have mixed emotions as I vividly recall the painful memories and many surgeries from that difficult time. I’ve lived sixty loooong months with the prospect of leaving my boys without a momma. Wondering if my coin was going to fall on heads or tails at each appointment.
The fact I’m still here is simply luck.
The past 5 years I’ve heard it all from well-meaning friends: You’re amazing! You’re so strong! You beat it! You kicked Cancer’s Ass! And while I smile and acknowledge the support my dear friend is trying to portray, none of these statement are true. I’m not amazing, I was strong because I had no other option, and I certainly didn’t beat cancer. Cancer is an unpredictable sneaky arsehole who makes up its own rules.
So I’m torn… do I feel joy? Relief? Caution? Achievement? The truth is I don’t want to ‘tempt fate’ by feeling too confident at this milestone. I’ve decided to honor how my life changed in such a drastic fashion five years ago.
Cancer opened many doors for me. I write articles. I give talks. I work to support the breast cancer community. I hold those warriors tight who come to me with the same fear and despair in their eyes. I am a proud champion of women.
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.