These days whenever I see people they tell me how amazing I look, but they can’t believe I had cancer, chemo, etc. I don’t know if I would use the word amazing to describe myself, but I do think I look healthy and “normal”. I’m glad to hear that everybody else thinks I look so great!
People ask how I feel, I think they assume I’m going to say that I feel great too.
I definitely have days where I feel great. Where everything goes the way it is supposed to and I can almost forgot that I am a cancer survivor, and a pretty recent one at that.
Other days I feel sad and scared and angry. Particularly when something happens that reminds me that I’m not the way I was before…like I fall asleep at 8pm, or cannot sleep at all (or more likely can barely hold my head up at 8 PM, however go to bed at 10 and do not fall or stay asleep for hours), or try to go for a run, or something happens to remind me of my work accommodations.
I also worry about it coming back. I’m not constantly anxious about it but in the back of my head the fear is always there and I have never really felt like I was done with breast cancer. I don’t know, I think part of the reason is because I’m pretty young, I’m only 43…I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me and it’s hard to imagine they will all be cancer free. I’m in some groups for young women with cancer, I am among the older women in these groups and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those that are in their 20s and 30s.
I have already had two recurrence scares; one when I had a call back after my mammogram, another when I found a lump in my left breast. That was only a few weeks ago, and I had to go for an ultrasound and mammogram before they ruled it benign. Not even a year from finishing my treatment and already two scares! It’s awful to think that this is what’s ahead of me, when I let myself.
For the most part though, I am pretty happy. I’m trying to get back to myself. I go to the gym, go for walks (and throw in some running intervals), even though I still have accommodations at work I am still working full-time, I have fun with friends and fun with my kids and my husband. I really try to enjoy my life as much as I can. If the cancer comes back I will be glad I did so, and if it doesn’t nobody ever regrets making the most of their life!