My Story Isn’t Over

I’ve wanted to write blogs on so many subjects, at so many different times, but I haven’t. It’s an odd feeling, and one that I don’t know if I can adequately explain, but I will try.

Real-writers-are-those-who-want-to-writeIt’s been nearly 2 ½ years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and last Saturday, June 9th, a Facebook memory popped up and it showed me that it was my 2-year anniversary since beginning my TAC chemo treatment.

After my bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy – with several surgeries in between due to infections – my breast cancer has been in remission since Oct. 2016. After my first failed attempt at breast reconstruction, I was finally healthy enough to undergo surgery to re-implant the breast tissue expanders in March 2017 and I had the permanent implants inserted in Sept. 2017.

So, at times I feel like my journey is over. I got cancer, kicked it’s a$$ and survived. However, you don’t just go back to the way you were after battling – and surviving – breast cancer, hell, any cancer, for that matter. It changes you. Well, it changed me, at least. I have a new normal. My body is different, I have scars across my chest from the six surgeries, a scar from the chemo port, and scars on both of my sides from the drains after the breast surgeries. quote-bowledagooglyMy breasts are smaller than they once were and there are no nipples (although I did get a 3D nipple tattoo – a blog about that is coming soon!). My hair is a different (and BETTER) texture than it once was and I found that I prefer myself with short hair. Those are just a few of the physical changes, but there are also many mental and emotional changes since battling and surviving cancer. I see things differently now and have a completely different outlook on life. I appreciate things more than I once did and I have learned to better accept minor setbacks and put things in perspective. But at times, I feel myself slipping back into the same person I was before having cancer. The woman who just worked and adulted and didn’t take time to smell the roses or live in the moment.

As far as writing, when I do chat with new people and talk about my experience they always tell me “you should write about it!” I tell them that I have a blog, but that I am doing a horrible job of keeping it up.

surviveIt’s like I am torn … I want to share my experience and things that I’ve learned and went through, but then a part of me doesn’t want to relive it. That was the worst, scariest year of my life and I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it out alive. However, the more I talk to people, the more I realize that I have a lot of things that I want – and NEED – to share. And although I’ll primarily focus on my experience with breast cancer, I called this blog battling breast cancer and beyond for a reason – I am in the beyond stage now. I want to talk about my life now – after cancer. So, the topics will vary going forward. Probably everything from my weight loss journey to family trips and everything in between.

I don’t want to hide my feelings or experiences or pretend like cancer didn’t happen; however, breast cancer does not define me. I am living a wonderful and blessed life, post-breast cancer. Breast cancer happened to me. Breast cancer affected my family. Breast cancer made me fight the most difficult fight of my life – FOR my life. Breast cancer did not kill me. I kicked cancer’s a$$ and it’s such an important topic for me to talk about.

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