If the fear of cancer keeps you from moving forward,
enjoying life, being with loved one, laughing,
then the cancer won, even if it never comes back.
But if you reclaim your life, then even if the
cancer comes back, it didn’t win, because YOU, the PERSON, survived.
Lisa Weissman, Hematology/Oncology
October 1, 2013 the beginning of Breast Cancer Month, I made the choice to eliminate the fears about MY condition.
For more than five years, after a diagnosis of Breast Cancer, I lived in fear of the unknown —–
- Fear of monthly self-breast exams;
- Fear of periodic mammograms; and
- Fear of appointments with the oncologist.
Since MY diagnosis, these unknown fears always ended with “no sign of cancer recurrence.” A welcomed, temporary reprieve until I had to undergo the next monthly self-breast exam, mammogram, and/or oncology visit.
Last month, as I prepared to write this four-part series on MY Breast Cancer Journey, I visited a number of blogs written by breast cancer survivors as well as breast cancer organization websites. These blogs and websites served as MY first introduction to Metastatic Breast Cancer and a new fear to deal with. The question is why MY oncologists never once discussed this condition with ME. Rest assured, on my next scheduled visit in December this will be MY first question to the oncologist.
While, I am Grateful for the excellent treatment provided by MY oncologists; I am a bit disappointed that they failed to discuss and explain Metastatic Breast Cancer. I may have made different lifestyle choices if they had shared information like the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance facts:
- “Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body: bones, liver, lungs or brain.
- early detection does not guarantee a cure. Metastatic Beast Cancer can occur 5, 10, or 15 years after a person’s original diagnosis and successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms.
- An estimated 155,00 Americans are currently living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Metastatic Breast Cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
- 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop Metastatic Breast Cancer.
- Metastatic Breast Cancer is not an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of the disease, some will live long, productive lives.
Despite the above-information, I overcame the FEARS of Breast Cancer. How?
Rather than focus on fear, I seek information, encouragement, and self-empowerment by connecting with:
- Fifty-eight (58) Amazing Breast Cancer Bloggers
- The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance Website
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Network Website
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer Website
- National Breast Cancer Foundation Website
- Sisters Network
- Sisters4Cure – Milwaukee
Rather than focus on fear, I seek spiritual uplifting, inspiration, strength, serenity, happiness, and peace through MY daily readings:
- 100 Perks of Having Cancer – Plus100 Health Tips for Surviving It, Florence Strang, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. and Susan Gonzalez, R.N., B.S.N.
- The President’s Devotionals – The Daily Readings that Inspired President Barach Obama, Joshua DuBois
- Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, Sarah Ban Breathnach
- The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
- Simple Abundance Living by Your Own Lights (Audio Book), Sarah Ban Breathnach
- Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin
- The Pink Bible an Invitation to Hope
I have chosen to “eliminate the fears” and “embrace the present”……..
- “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future, I live now.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- “Forever is composed of nows.” (Emily Dickson)
- “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” (Buddha)
- “We are always getting ready to live but never living.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- “Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today.” (Dale Carnegie)
- “We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s.” (Henry Ward Beecher)
- “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” (Morris West).
I am Grateful for the positive changes in MY lifestyle since the Breast Cancer diagnosis.
I am most Thankful to the Divine Spirit for guiding ME to write about MY Breast Cancer Journey.