In 2011, I was newly diagnosed metastatic in October. I was in shock. How the hell did this happen? I was exercising and losing the weight gain; eating healthy and taking care of me.
In 2012, I was emerging from a year of treatment, on disability and trying to figure out what my life was going to look like. What was my purpose in still being here? How could I make my life meaningful? I was certainly not ready to die!
In 2013, I posted facts about breast cancer daily on social media with the goal to educate my friends and family about breast cancer and metastasis. Then, I started talking to others who were metastatic breast cancer patients and educating myself about charities and where the money goes.
In 2014, I spent time ranting on social media as a way of expressing my frustration with this Pinktober marketing machine and the lack of research funding for metastatic breast cancer. I made it about two weeks before my anger started affecting my family. I became a bit of a recluse, I didn’t want to go anywhere or do much of anything. I just didn’t want to see any more pink anywhere. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore
In 2015, I’m attempting to LIVE with this crap. Well, in reality I AM living with cancer, so I am already living with crap. My blog name, more than cancer, is an apt reflection of ME. Yes, I have cancer in my bones, but I’m no longer allowing cancer to define me.
The first time I went through chemo, I was in full fight mode. All I had to do is fight my way through about a year of IV chemo, surgery and recovery and 37 sessions of multi-site radiation. When it came back three years later, I started in that same mental “fight” mode. Within about 6 months, I was exhausted. I had no energy to deal with anyone nor to do anything with family. I realized that I just couldn’t fight it with no end in sight.
I had to learn to LIVE with this unwanted cellular division going on in my body; to accept that as part of life, just like my blonde hair and green eyes.
How did I do that? Part of it was simply accepting it. Part of it was going on and living my life anyway. I was recently told that I am not being open and authentic by not talking about life with metastatic cancer. While I can see where this person is coming from, I also know that mentally it’s not healthy for me to stay focused on cancer. The very first time I was diagnosed, I decided I needed to focus on me, my husband and our (then) 14 year old son. I figured I couldn’t cure cancer, so I told God it was his problem to fix. This time, it’s still God’s problem to fix. I just need to LIVE the life he’s got for me.