Life's ups and downs
Joys and sorrows
Here today, gone tomorrow.
Funny how the last sentence is a pun on "hair", although hair was gone then, here now.
It's been almost 10 years since my cancer diagnosis (completing 10 in Jan 2018) and I feel stronger than ever. Time just went by so fast that it was easy (maybe now it's easy) to put the rough past behind. And there were a lot of learnings that came from that experience; those will stay with me forever.
As a volunteer health educator/health coach and advocate for breast cancer patients and survivors, I feel that much has been done to raise awareness, but a lot more needs to be done to break the cultural barriers and stigmas associated not just with breast cancer, but many other diseases.
To all the people taking a break from their career for treatment/health, and to their care givers, this is just a small bump in the road. There's a beautiful life beyond this that awaits you. You will return to work, and some like me, will go back to school and restart a career. Be thankful for the support you have and never hesitate to reach out if and when you need help. Communication is very important! Share your story and become a health advocate, if you like. Or read stories similar to yours that will give you strength and courage. Along with the many informational/educational resources available online, there are many groups, communities, and blogs to help you with your social and emotional needs. Some of the resources I trust (credible according to me):
- healthunlocked.com/breast cancerindia (you can also find my story posted here)
- Look up "Beyond the pink moon" and/or " BRCA Sisterhood," groups on Facebook for cancer patients, survivors, and previvors
- Facebook page: I can fight it
- Read my story in Rutgers news (2013): news.rutgers.edu/feature/ru...
Know that it's the disease that should be defeated. Don't let that defeat you!
Stay healthy, stay happy. Chin up, move on!