Somewhere along the way between healing from the aftermath of cancer and learning to live again, I stopped writing. Or maybe I just stopped completing pieces of writing. I used to write and publish. Then I started writing to delete. Lately, I haven’t even completed a blog before I wiped it away with select all delete. Why? Perhaps because with remission comes this sense of completion. Why would someone want to read about cancer from the perspective of a person who doesn’t have it anymore? Why would someone want to read about the fallout that came with the aftermath of treatment? How could I possibly share the struggles I’d rather keep hidden behind grown out hair and a sense of normalcy? Or the blessings I’ve experienced when someone else reading might be in the fight of their life? What if, it’s exactly part of the story that needs to be told? And so today, I decided I’d try to start again. Write to share and not delete . . . here’s to rebooting.
Living in the aftermath of cancer is a blessing and at times very difficult. It makes me feel guilty to even write that. How can it be “difficult” when I’ve lost friends to breast cancer and I have friends fighting Stage IV breast cancer right now as I write this? What about the ones fighting for the first time? Surely it’s less difficult than that? And yet there are times when surviving cancer has been just as tough. It’s a constant reminder that everyone is fighting a battle.
Remission has filled me with many “stop and smell the roses” moments. I constantly ask myself if things that initially upset me will really matter in five years. If not, I try to let those things go before I allow them as an excuse to lash out and hurt others or even to eat at myself. It’s a much freer way of living life. I regret not living my entire life this way to be honest.
“Sorta been there, sorta did that” has allowed me to reach out to other women and serve them in some form or fashion. Women fight cancer in many different ways and no one person’s experience is exactly like someone else’s, yet it’s a kind of glue that has a way of bonding strangers together like super glue. Yet, it amazes me how many women still feel ashamed of or embarrassed by their diagnosis just because it has the word “breast” in front of it. This is exactly the reason why some women don’t talk about it, put off going to the doctor, and end up fighting breast cancer at later stages. I’m thankful for women before me who were brave enough to speak out and pave the path for women like me to come out of the shadows without our heads hung in shame. It saddens me that not all women feel this way though.
The fight doesn’t end at remission. The battle plan just changes.