Most of my friends who know my story of breast cancer would describe me as a strong warrior.
Unbeknownst to them, I’ve had more than my fair share of tears.
The Breast Cancer Diagnosis
In 2000, I was diagnosed with stage 2-3 breast cancer with lymph nodes involvement. During the stage of life when most of us contemplate marriage and having kids, I was contemplating my mortality.
I cried when the surgeon told me he was sure I had cancer. I cried having to tell my family and friends. And they cried with me.
The Stream of Tears
Looking at the clumps of my hair on my floor, I stood in tears in front of the bathroom mirror after my second chemo treatment. I cried when the treatments drained my physical energy. My energy so depleted, I couldn’t even move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.
I broke down during moments when I felt unloved (a long-term relationship had just ended). I agonized at the thought of infertility.
The nurse wiped away my tears just before she jabbed me with the IV on the eighth chemo session. I cried sporadically with fears of death.
The Stream Dries
Oddly, I didn’t cry the night before I headed into surgery for a bi-lateral mastectomy.
Am I a cancer survivor, you may ask?
Sure, I guess.
I’d prefer to say I am living with cancer even after many years of a clean bill of health because I continue to experience a roller coaster of emotions to this day.
From the original “survivor” group, those who attended the very first BC Cancer Agency support group for young women, there are very few of us remaining.
I’ve cried at their funerals and I still mourn the loss of the ones with whom I was exceptionally close.
When your life throws you challenges in the most unfair way, go ahead and cry.
You’ve earned it; and then look ahead to the next day.