What I Didn’t Know…

What I Didn’t Know…

I’m tired and I hate cancer. Psychologically, physically, and emotionally tired. I’m tired of trying to always be happy and positive, I’m tired of trying to always smile. I’m exhausted.

I knew and was prepared for how treatment would be. I heard the stories, I was told how it would affect me….but what I didn’t know was that surviving after cancer was a whole new battle.

No one prepared me for the long journey of recovery from breast cancer. I thought I would bounce back. My hair would grow back, my body would get stronger after chemo knocked it down, my burnt skin would heal after radiation, the brain fog would clear. But there’s so much more to it. I didn’t know the extent of what damage radiation could cause. I didn’t know lymphedema, axillary web syndrome, bone damage could wreak havoc on my body for so long. I didn’t understand that brain fog didn’t go away. I had no idea how debilitating the drugs I have to continue to take would be. I had no clue how recurrence and metastasis fears would control my life.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to answer friends and family questions. Yes, I’m okay. I’ve had to learn how to be okay. But that doesn’t mean that everything is back to normal. So many people think that being alive after treatment means everything has gone away, and cancer patients can get back to their life. That past life no longer exists. It’s different now.

I didn’t know how much cancer would change my life. Being diagnosed with breast cancer taught me valuable lessons about how delicate life can be. It taught me a new perspective. What things are truly important to me. It taught me to enjoy every moment.

And even though I still have bad days, even though I’m so tired of fighting, I have discovered my strength, bravery and courage. I’m a fighter, and I will continue to fight. Cancer has taught me that no matter how hard a situation can seem, dark skies always lead to sunrise. And though I haven’t seen many sunrises yet, they are still out there. One bad day doesn’t equate to a bad life. So no matter how tired I am, I know I can survive whatever life throws at me and come out stronger. I am a breast cancer survivor.

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