I Am a Survivor!
Before my battle with breast cancer I thought being a breast cancer survivor was a woman who had breast cancer and did not die from it. It is so much more than that. It is surviving the physical; the biopsy, the diagnosis, the surgery, the chemo (the nausea), the radiation (the burns), the fatigue. It’s also about surviving the mental anguish that cancer will put you through. Hearing those 4 words “You have Breast Cancer” is terrifying. Cancer will have you questioning & second guessing every decision you have no choice but to make, (e.g. choosing mastectomy or lumpectomy), It’s about surviving while everything you once knew about yourself is being taken by an unseen imposter that confusingly, is you! It’s about overcoming the feeling that you are less than a woman. It’s about learning to not only accept but to love the scars. It's about living with the ever-present fear of the cancer returning. It’s about learning the new, stronger version of yourself.
Being a survivor is the moment we are handed the pen our oncologist gives us, and we are told to place our signature on a form (before we are given chemotherapy) stating that we understand that chemo will kill some of us.
For me being a breast cancer survivor doesn’t have anything to do with whether I survive or not though. It’s the possibility that maybe, just maybe, because of the fight in which I'm fighting today it will give my children and your children a greater possibility to never have to wonder whether they will lose their fight to breast cancer because we already fought that fight for them.