Breast cancer is a sneaky sickness that likes to fool you. When I was diagnosed I would forget at times that I even had cancer. Breast cancer doesn’t usually hurt you physically; it basically just exists, grows and tries to destroy you. Most people won’t know you have it unless they know you or have been told.
You might experience surprise when breast cancer comes to mind when you least expect it. You are never alone if this happens to you. Just try to keep your mind focused and calm. Knowing that you have breast cancer is overwhelming enough, but presented to you when you least expect it can leave you confused and dazed.
Grocery shopping is such a mundane task that you rarely think you might be confronted with breast cancer. I remember shopping, and then there it was — pink ribbon merchandise for purchase. My realization of breast cancer came to my mind, my stomach sank, and I had no desire to shop anymore.
But there is hope and awareness to bring you through the dark feelings.
Being around friends is wonderful and is an excellent support. Usually you talk about your life, career, relationships and children. Then breast cancer has a sneaky way of interfering in your normally friendly conversations. Do you talk about breast cancer too much? Too little? Do your friends want to talk about it? Decisions.
But then you know that true friends always want to listen and be there for you. Friends are friends, and if they don’t want to hear about one of the biggest struggles of your life, then I don’t think it is a friendship worth keeping.
Family is the bond that lingers through the ages, but when you have breast cancer, sometimes great intentions can make you feel not-so-great. Take it easy with family. Your diagnosis is yours, but it does affect your whole family. You might hear unwanted advice or ideas. Some comments might not be what you want, or need, to hear. Try not to take things to heart. People are nervous and scared, so their words might not come out exactly how you need.
Unexpected comments from people can throw you back into the reality that you have breast cancer. I didn’t like hearing “Well, at least you get a new chest out of the deal.” Or hearing that if I ate an organic vegetarian diet then I would not have cancer to begin with. People don’t always think before they speak, and they are just trying to be helpful. You can educate people on the reality of breast cancer. It’s not like going to get a breast augmentation. It’s surgery because of a disease that you do not want, and it isn’t a walk in the park.
When you are stuck in a situation that reminds you you have breast cancer, you will overcome. Breast cancer stinks, but you will make it through treatments with dignity and strength, no matter what society throws at you.
Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.