Let's Talk About Breasts, Ba-by
*Written while listening to a lot of Color Me Badd*
I didn’t even stop to think about starting this blog when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I started writing on the day I was diagnosed, and haven’t stopped since. I was thinking of names for the blog when I was being wheeled out of surgery. I was brainstorming content while my mom was emptying my drains for the umpteenth time during my recovery. I just always assumed that no matter what happened to me post diagnosis, and no matter how grim the outlook, I would obviously write about it. That’s what I do when something happens to me. Good or bad. I use the power of the pen as a means of therapy.
What I didn’t really think about when I decided to start this blog, was about the people I was affecting. This is strange, because the objective when I started this was to help other women; specifically women under 40 who are navigating their diagnosis. However I went into full execution mode to ensure I was producing content that would resonate with my audience. Sadly, I put my business hat on and forgot about the other hat I was wearing. The cancer patient hat.
It wasn’t until I started getting messages on Instagram and email from other women who have been recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer. These women found me whether it was by the power of social media, or were referred to me by friends. I started getting messages such as:
“Hello I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and will need chemo and a double mastectomy. I am curious about your chemo. I know you don’t know me, but I love following you. It gives me hope.”
And just like that, I remembered why I started this thing.
I spent last week in Ohio at my parents house. I was having a moment of anxiety, and needed a moment to myself. I got another message from a woman who is having her double mastectomy in a few weeks and wanted to pick my brain about it.
I told her to call me. We talked for an hour.
Guess what? My anxiety immediately went away. How ironic, as Breast Cancer and all of its facets is quite possibly one of the more anxiety inducing things. As I was on the phone with this woman giving her all of my double mastectomy life hacks, this feeling of purpose and accomplishment came over me.
There are these moments in your life, albeit sometimes few and far between where you physically feel something inside of you click. Those moments where suddenly things go from blurry to completely clear. That “Cher Horowitz when she realizes she loves Josh” moment? I haven’t had a ton of those moments in my life, but when I do; I act on them. I take those moments very seriously.
Put it to you this way: the last time I had a big moment like that, I quit my job to start my own business. I don’t f**k around.
I always tell people that cancer has broken me and put back together at the same time. I am not happy I was dealt this hand, to be clear. I would love to be carefree and enjoy my summer in the same way I did last year. Not standing over a calendar saying no to plans because I have a chemo treatment that week.
However, as I slowly start to see the impact I can have on others and their diagnosis, I am inspired to still live a carefree life. (With maybe just a smidge less Sancerre, and a smidge more Turmeric tea) I didn’t think I would be dealing with this in my lifetime, much less at the age of 35. That said, us youngins are changing the cancer game day by day. We are choosing to just get on with it, and use our powers for good. For me, that is helping others see the light at the end of the tunnel.