It was around this time last year that I shared with our readers that I was battling breast cancer. Actually, this time last year I was nearing the end of chemotherapy. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the past this time of year has meant little more to me than lots of pink everywhere. Now it means much more. Last year I shared a list of things I was learning while battling breast cancer. Today I want to share with you some of the things I have learning in the year since.
- I was the exception to most cancer situation. I am aware that I was super lucky. While chemo did make me a little sick, a little tired and a lot bald, my side effects were very, very mild. (other than the bald part). When people are newly diagnosed and ask me about my experience I am often hesitant to share it because the chance is very real that they will not have the same experience. A year ago I said to listen to those who have gone before. I still believe that. I would add today that is important to remember that your journey is yours alone.
- Having the right doctor makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!! I adored my physician. I have referred so many people to her that I feel like I should get some kind of kick back. I am actually just really happy that others get the value of her expertise.
- My hair grew back really quickly. When it was in the stubbly stage my Australian Shepherd, Storie, would sit behind me and put her paws on my shoulder and lick the top of my head. It was very strange. Every single time I sat down for about a month she was there to lick my head. Not a super helpful piece of knowledge but a piece nonetheless.
- It helps to have a “cancer buddy.” I have a friend that was diagnosed a few days before I was. We basically walked the same road. I was really helpful to have someone to walk the road with.
- Netflix. That’s all.
- It is equally as important to ask for help as it is to know when to try to start to do things for yourself.
- You have to make your own choices no matter what people think. There are people who may not agree with all of the choices you are making. I have not regretted sticking to any of the decisions I made during that time in my life. It is hard to frustrate other people but it is important to know what is best for you.
- I am not sure how others feel but I am not sure I will ever feel totally comfortable when I have my six month scans. There is a low likelihood that my cancer will recur. But low is still there. I believe that I will be ok. But having a clear scan sure is a great feeling.
- Pink is still not my color. ?