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I admit it. I’ve avoided posting to this blog. Why? Fear. That fear feeling has been present since diagnosis. It’s the initial fear you have when being diagnosed, the fear you have about treatment (I hate puking), fear about telling folks you have cancer, and fear about not being the “perfect” survivor. I kept my diagnosis close – only revealing it to our closest friends, family, and colleagues…because I had to. I admired fellow cancer thrivers who could post their journey on their Facebook or Instagram. But that just wasn’t me. I can’t explain why I kept it so hidden, so close. It really doesn’t matter now, but still, the fear remains. I didn’t emerge from my cancer more svelte (although I did imagine coming out of this more like Barbie and less like Stay Puff’d Marshmallow), more earnest in creating a better version of myself (I still eat potato chips), or even more open (as you can see from the delay in posting). However, I am also grateful to have found my sisters in Project Pink’d who don’t judge me when I seem shallow by lamenting about my body image issues or my ongoing neuropathy, while other, non-cancer folks tell me, “but you should be glad to be alive.” Of course, I’m glad to be alive, but I’m also human. I am grateful for my friends and family who see me as beautiful, funny, and thoughtful. And sometimes those fun times have been via Zoom rather than in person…because pandemic. I am grateful for my colleagues and coworkers who have rallied around me, focusing on my strengths, rather than my challenges. I am blessed to work where I work. Ultimately though, the message in this blog post is this – it’s OK to experience fear. Fear of recurrence. Fear of what the future holds. Fear of uncertainty. But also, know that you’re not alone. Others, like me, are with you.

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