My cancer journey has been different from others in that I was lucky enough that I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation. Life was complicated by multiple surgeries but I struggled with my feeling as I felt selfish to feel sorry for myself when so many others were going through so much more. Those close to me know that I often fake it to make it. “It’s fine, I’m fine, Everything is fine.” I suppress my feelings and keep busy with 101 activities so I don’t have time to think about the things that worry me. I’ve mastered this over the years and combated my cancer diagnosis and post-surgery complications the same way. And if you’re reading this and can relate..... don’t do this! You need to let go of those feelings, the fear, anger, and the tears. They are like weights that prevent you from truly healing. If you truly want to transition from just surviving to thriving mentally, emotionally, and spiritually you have to let go of your worries.
Have I mastered this task? Nope, I probably never will but acknowledging the need to do so was a big step for me. I’ll never forget the day at the Project Pink’d open house where fellow Pink’d sister Kelly Konan said “your cancer counts.” It hit me like a truck as a stood among so many thrives. I was at a point where I was just checking off surgeries and doctor's appointments, juggling my light duty nursing job with my bedside nurse job. I was in survival mode just trying to keep my head above water and her words were like the pass I needed to accept my diagnosis, stop comparing myself to others, and let go of the fear, sadness, and tears I had been holding back for so long. I only had a few tears in front of her but once I was in my silent car I had my first good cry. It was at that moment that I decided it was time to make something out of my cancer diagnosis. I needed to truly accept that my cancer did count, I needed to connect with others who understood and I needed to regain my self confidence. It was such a relief to take that first step toward thriving.