Help I Was Just Diagnosed And I Don’t Know What To Think?
Hearing those words “You have Cancer” is like a punch in the stomach. As I approach my five-year anniversary in a matter of days I will never forget that moment, those words forever etched into my soul. Sometimes you many know those words are coming and others may have never even imagined they would hear those words. For me I could feel it was coming, I was preparing myself for a few months to hear “You have cancer”. However when I heard those words for the first time it still took my breath away. My heart raced and my hands began to sweat and shake simultaneously. I remember even asking, “Are you joking?” to the Doctor on the other line. Even though my brain knew this was no joke I was trying desperately to bring humor into the situation so I could process it.
Those words have changed my life forever in so many ways. Mostly it has changed me for the good looking back over the past five years. But it also took away my ability to plan for the long-term future and that I am afraid I may never get back. There are different stages I found myself in after those initial words “ You have Caner”. Some of you reading may have just heard those words or others reading may one day hear those words. Cancer does not discriminate. You see cancer does not see color, financial status or the people who love those who are diagnosed.
Stages Of Emotions
Everyone is different and processes things differently, so understand that these were my stages, my emotions. For each in this situation you may process things differently, think differently and that is OK. Everyone does life differently and the circumstances they find themselves in.
I had been getting tested for a few months knowing that it was a possibility I had breast cancer. So many doctors told me I was way too young, but my gut told me that wasn’t true. So when I heard those words, the official words “You have cancer” even though most of me felt relief, knowing I finally knew the lumps I was feeling was really something, the other part of me was completely shocked. How could I have cancer in me?
After my shock began to fade, I began to feel weird. That is the best way to describe it. Knowing that the day before I was just “Amber” and now I felt as though I was “Amber who has cancer” I started to wonder how long I had cancer and I felt different. It was strange really to look in the mirror knowing I was starring at a person who has cancer. In a matter of minutes, seconds really how I perceived myself was shifting. It is a strange thing to know you are walking around with malignant cancer cells in your body. Then I wondered how others would now perceive me.
Then I went down a dark path. My mind then took me to my own death, watching my own funeral. I was scared and thought this cancer thing just may kill me. One of the hardest parts about just hearing “You have cancer” is the mystery of all that entails. The waiting room in between the diagnosis and the surgery or treatment plan feels as though you are on a crazy high speed roller coaster, and there is no getting off. So I think it is only natural to go down that dark path of death. Looking back though, I had to go to the end of my life to continue to live an amazing life. You see realizing cancer may kill me, allowed me to let go of my fear of death and it has allowed me to live a life of no regret. So with most of me wanting to say “Fuck You Cancer” a little bit of me says… “Thank You Cancer” for giving me the freedom to live how I want to live and not care anymore what others think.
After I got my treatment plan and knew all the facts I began to feel courageous. I let others in and felt the love and began to fee like I can do this. I can be the cancer patient, get treatment and get through it. No matter what the outcome may be I wanted to keep my head held high and not be defined by my cancer. I allowed myself to change and grow and learn from cancer. You see I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t change the diagnosis but I could control how I reacted and the person I wanted to become through my diagnosis. We are all stronger than we ever imagined and you, who are newly diagnosed, are stronger than you think. I found strength in my friends, my family and others going through it themselves. I leaned on them whether they knew it or not to become more and more courageous.
If this is you, if you have recently heard the words “You have cancer” may I say this? It is OK to feel what you feel; it is Ok to cry and any given moment. It is OK to go to dark places, and it is OK to then scream “Fuck You Cancer” There is no right or wrong way to handle this news. Hold your head high and realize you are never alone!
Amazing New Website To Find Support:
My Breast Cancer Team
My Breast Cancer Team