“Finding a new normal is not so easy. I try to live above the fear it leaves you in, and to slow the rush I feel to experience as much life as possible. Now if I had others around me that wanted to experience as many things, new foods and new places as me then game would be on!!! But for me the fear doesn’t lessen as time goes on like you think it would; it grows… retreats…hibernates…comes back out.”
"I am very grateful for all the research that breast cancer has received, but I do think all the marketing around it has made people a little numb to the reality. Breast cancer is still incurable when it spreads to distant organs, and we need to do more to find a cure for Stage IV. Instead of buying a pink coffee mug or t-shirt, I wish people would directly donate to organizations that fund breast cancer research directly ( like Metavivor) so we can don’t have to hope for a cure but that we can actually research a cure."
"You will need all the help, love, and support people are willing to give. Don’t shut down and shut people out, that will only bring more sadness and depression on yourself. It is OKAY TO FEEL SAD AND BE UPSET, you are going to experience every emotion. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry, you have every right to be. Don’t feel like you need to stay positive 24/7 because what you’re going through sucks and it’s not fair, so don’t disregard those feelings. But don’t fester and stay in that place of sadness and anger, because you can get stuck there."
"My first piece of advice is to understand that this too shall pass. There were days when I was so sick from chemo that I couldn’t even get off the couch. It made me feel better knowing that I wouldn’t feel this way forever and that each day it would get better. My second piece of advice is to know that you are way more strong and resilient than you ever thought you were. These two qualities have made me the woman I am today and I never knew how strong I was until I had to fight cancer. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to!"
"I tried to focus on what I was grateful for. I had my amazing and supportive husband, my adorable puppy and a community if loving friends/family surrounding me. I felt inspired by my blog, which helped give me perspective and refocus my grief into goals. I also worked more on 'choosing happiness' instead of waiting for it to come to me. I finally realized that I was in control of my own emotions."
"Returning to my favorite hobbies - yoga and circus aerials - has been so healing. Getting married and making long term plans is healing too. There’s the fear that making plans is arrogant, we survivors all have the same fears, we know too well what could go wrong. But I try to tell myself that a recurrence will be just as devastating no matter what I do, so I might as well keep on like it’s not going to happen. "
"I have lived through a lot and I am still standing. I embrace my body and my amazon like one-boob look and I am just so damn happy to be alive and plan to be here for as long as I can shouting from the rooftops that I made it and so can you - and that it sucks but it can always be worse. We are not in charge of what happens next but we can help each other through it."
"I struggled a lot with the fear of recurrence and being lost in limbo once my treatments ended. I no longer had this security blanket wrapped around me which left me feeling vulnerable. I began sharing my story on social media and connecting with other survivors who made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my battle. It was so inspiring to see how much these women were thriving and enjoying life despite everything they had been through."
"Cancer may have thrown a wrench in my 'past' life, but it also created a new beginning- corny but true. It’s like there’s a BC (before cancer) and AC (after cancer). I’m still that person I was before, just wiser now, more carefree, and braver. I’m more willing to take risks and do things that scare me, like travel alone or speak in front of a crowd. I feel more like the real me- it’s so crazy but true."
"I will say, I wish I started [emotional] therapy earlier. I always felt I was never “ready.” I was always trying to be strong; thinking I had to deal with everything on my own. This world is big, it’s complex, and you need help to navigate it. You can't always get that from your loved ones. Having someone else as the sounding board helping me work through my feelings and emotions, my anger and fear, has been incredibly healing. Asking for help doesn't make you weak, it makes you stronger."
"Take it easy, don’t push yourself too hard, your body will tell you what you can do. Talk about it, I let a lot of people in and met a lot of great people and helped some because I was so open about it. And live your life. Don’t let this stop you from doing whatever you want. You still can. I started a business. My husband and I travel as much as we can. You never know what will happen tomorrow, so don’t put it off."