Sunday, May 10, 2015

5 Things People With Cancer Want You To Know {share}

I came across this article on Tumblr & it really resonated with me so I wanted to share the link of the original article with all of you but I also wanted to add a few personal reflections as well.

1.) Cancer doesn't always end when treatment does. 
For me, personally, this is a BIG one. I often refer to remission-life as "the fight after the fight" because it can be crazy, chaotic, & confusing as hell. In one sense, you know how incredibly lucky you are to beat a disease that doesn't want to be beaten; you - for some reason or another - have been given another chance in this world, in this life that thousands of other people are not given. It can be a heavy task to swallow, to understand, & to accept. I'm very open about my struggle with "survivor's guilt" & the pressure that comes along with be a survivor & it's something I deal with on almost a daily basis.
I think this also applies to the equally as crazy, chaotic, & confusing physical side-effects that we experience days, months, & even years after treatment has "commenced". It was only within the last month that I have completely weened myself off pain-meds but I still struggle with random body & joint pain everyday. I've been dealing with early-onset menopause since I was 27 & chemo brain is an absolute pain in my cancer-free ass. 

2.) Cancer doesn't look the same on everyone. 
WORD! Sometimes we don't lose all of our hair with chemo, sometimes we gain weight, sometimes we lose weight. 

3.) Some days are just hard.
No personal explanation needed. :)

4.) Just because I don't look sick doesn't mean I'm not.
This picture was taken less than 2 months before I was diagnosed with Stage IIIb; I was literally dying in this picture & had no idea...would you?

5.) I am so much more than my disease.
As I've said multiple, multiple times...cancer forever changes you & your life but it doesn't have to define you or your life. We are, in ways, the same people we were before we found out about our disease & we will continue to grow into a new version of ourselves post disease.
 Please don't let it negate who we are as individuals.

What do you think?

- LISA -

Friday, May 8, 2015

5 Years

Yesterday marked 5 years since I was hooked up to a fanny pack & had my very first chemo infusion & radiation treatment. 5 years! What?!
     Looking back over the past 5 years is a super-crazy ride for me; cancer has changed my life in so many different ways that I could never fully explain. I lost some people who I never imagined my days would be complete without but - on the flipside - I also gained other people who I know with all my being were meant to be a part of my life ...& that's because of this disease. That's life I suppose, right? You have to take the good with the bad to be able to appreciate the happy after the sad. Now, in about a month, I will be celebrating 3 beautiful years of remission, baring no hold-ups with my upcoming CT scan & blood work, but for the sake of my sanity I'm being optimistic! :)
     I've been thinking lately that I really want to start blogging more; I know I say that A LOT but I really think it's time. Usually my blog breaks happen because I can't decide on any specific content to write about but then I realized why does there have to be a specific topic?...& I don't think there necessarily does. I think I, unknowingly, put some pressure on myself to keep GDHC cancer-related in some form, but that's not all my life is so it may start getting random at times around these neck of the woods. Yes, a percentage of my life is & always will be connected to cancer but I also have a lot more to talk about & let you in on so I hope you're down. Until then...

- LISA -