When the imaging center said I needed a biopsy, I was annoyed by the inconvenience and didn’t really think about what they were looking for.
When I got the final diagnosis of triple positive breast cancer and the laundry list of appointments I needed to make I looked at it as a bunch of things I had to do.
I know, it sounds really weird or like a huge case of denial, but it wasn’t that I didn’t believe it was happening, it was more that I just didn’t let myself go really deep into the “what ifs”. I went to each appointment and did what they asked and listened to the information and then went on to the next one, until I was done. Listening and learning in bite size bits along the way.
Now that I am two year out from treatment I think more of the experience has had a chance to settle in.
I had breast cancer. It was really hard for so many reasons and I am finding survivorship to be harder than the treatment in a lot of ways.
Things could have gone differently, but they didn’t, which makes me a very lucky person.
When treatment was over I was still using a little medication tracking system that I came up with during treatment to remind me to take my tamoxifen every day. I realized that this little system could help a lot of other people too, so I started my company tooktake dosage reminder labels and now I am an entrepreneur.
The moral of this story isn’t pretend that your cancer isn’t happening and then be inspired to invent a product. Or that cancer is some sort of a gift. I really just want to share my story and reinforce that there is no one way or even a right way to go through any part of cancer treatment or survivorship and there is a huge community here to support you no matter how you do it.