Before March 5, 2017, I thought a “breast cancer survivor” was a woman who had breast cancer but did not die from it. Boy, was I wrong!
It’s about surviving the mental abuse that cancer will put you through and have you questioning and second-guessing every decision you once were so sure of. It’s about surviving the emotional abuse that too often leaves you feeling crippled, but without crutches. It’s about surviving while everything you once knew about yourself is being taken by an unseen impostor that, confusingly, is you! It’s about surviving through every life-changing surgery, some so painful that at times we forget how to breath.
It’s not even recognizing my own reflection. It’s wondering, if you take my breast and ovaries then put me on hormone therapy to stop the estrogen which fuels my cancer, how will I ever feel like a woman again?
“Being a survivor” is the moment our oncologist hands us a pen 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, It’s the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the fight I’m fighting today will give my children and your children a greater possibility to never wonder whether they will lose their own fight to breast cancer – because I already fought that fight for them.