Written by: Rebecca Carr
It is never easy losing someone, but losing someone to something like cancer is terrifying.
That is what I had said to myself a few years ago when my stepdad lost his battle. Cancer is a word that has rocked my world in such a major way. It has changed me in ways that are somewhat unexplainable, but I will try.
In my eyes, getting diagnosed with breast cancer was the easy part of all of this. Telling my family and friends was the hardest part.
There are so many thoughts that go through your head. I was more worried about everyone else, and how they are handling it. But I guess that helped me in a way, because it gave me something else to think about.
I didn’t cry, I didn’t say “Why me?” I didn’t follow the normal cancer diagnosis pattern. I was oddly calm, almost too calm, like the calm before the storm. I simply said “Okay, Now what?”
It has been a year already since the day that I got diagnosed. Four major surgeries, and I am “cancer free”. I endured a double mastectomy and a vicious infection, almost killing all of the skin on my new breasts. I even had emergency surgery because the expanders came through my skin.
My new breasts were failing so I just recently had fat cells suctioned from my belly and transferred to my breasts. I somehow still didn’t cry. I have cried from physical pain, pain that can take your breath away, but not because I was sad.
I knew that all of the pain was worth it in the end. That this is the end of my “cancer journey”.
I was faced with an almost deadly parasite, falling over an entire staircase and only breaking my arm, and then flat-lining in surgery to fix said arm.
I’ve endured years of being “so sick” to find out that I have Lupus as well. I thought Lupus was rough and then I got diagnosed three weeks later with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
Those words, “I’m so sorry, you have cancer” will now loom in my mind forever.
Breast cancer is such a personal thing. When I say personal, I mean that it affects everyone differently. I consider myself lucky that my cancer “wasn’t that bad”. I know so many beautiful women that have had it so much worse, and even lost their lives to it.
Granted I’ve been through my share of it, I still don’t look at myself as a cancer patient. Never have and never will.
I don’t think I am a hero; I am a fighter that simply took the necessary steps to ensure I could survive. My strength resonates from what I have been through, and has certainly changed my outlook on life.
So here I am, a year later, cancer free, and engaged to the man of my dreams.
As we plan our April wedding, I look back only to realize how far we have come. It takes a true hero to stand by someone’s side and help them through the nightmare that is called cancer.
Life has now prepared me for whatever lies ahead. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new chance to keep on living.
And I think that’s exactly what I’ll do.