Stories of Fearlessness
I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in August 2006. I am now a five-year cancer graduate. When I was in the thick of cancer treatments, surgeries, medications, side-affects and other un-fun things I kept telling myself "it's not forever, it's just for now". It kept me going, kept me positive and kept me looking to a future with no cancer.
I think I'm a pretty positive person most of the time so I really needed to draw on that when I was diagnosed. I believe there is power in being positive and I knew it certainly would not help to sit around feeling sorry for myself. What good would that do? It wouldn't make me feel better and it would most definitely not make my family feel better. So I tried as best as I could to draw on positive energy each and every day.
When I began chemo and knew that the side effects would start to be evident very soon, I decided to tell as many people as possible. I didn't want to show up in places and be bald or looking different and have people talking about me behind my back and wondering what was wrong with me. I also didn't want to hide away until it was over. I wanted to live my life as normally as possible for as long as I could physically manage it. I wanted to go to my kids' hockey practices and games, attend social functions and parties, go to school meetings with teachers, go shopping and all the other things that I loved to do.
I was determined that this cancer would not shut me down and stop me from living my life. I vowed to carry on and fight it with everything I had in me. I needed to do it for me. For my husband and for my children. They especially needed to see me doing all the things I usually did as often as possible. Eventually I got to the point where I could not get out of bed for days at a time. That is when I had to repeat my mantra, "it's not forever, it's just for now" and just take it one hour, one day at a time."